Developing Your Judo #20
#20: DESIRE - The Secret Ingredient
Ask any World or Olympic judo champion about his or her early years of judo, and you will probably get an earfulof stories about the many hours they spent doing crazy judo stuff.
But it was not forced training under rigid coaching schedules, or activities designed to build discipline or consistency. Instead, they all had a great DESIRE to achieve. A desire that started with a hunger, or a fire, deep
inside. It was a vision that was perfectly clear in the mind of the judoka, and it superceded everything else.
An athlete without desire is one who trains on
automatic pilot. There may be a goal but to achieve that goal is for the sake of achieving the goal itself. Elite athletes are not superhuman and aside from a few rare exceptions do not possess extraordinary physical qualities. But they have a true love for their sport and a burning desire to be the best they can. Coaches and parents can provide guidance and support but the athlete needs to supply the rest.
Legendary American runner Steve Prefontaine wasn't sure if he wanted to continue competing after he lost to Lasse Viren at the 1972 Munich Olympics. His coach, Bill Bowerman, told him, "If you want to run, be at the track and I'll coach you, or if you don't want to run, then stop. It's your decision but I can't coach desire."
By: Rainer Fischer (Canadian Olympian)