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Created by Sue Ellis, former US Olympic Speed Skating Coach
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"Winning is not a sometime thing; it's an all time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."
           --Vince Lombardi

IT – The Success Factor
By Susan Ellis

“My will shall shape the future. Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but my own. I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze. My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny”.
                                                              -- Elaine Maxwell

Success is not born of random luck. ‘IT’ is a choice we make based on who we want to be, what we want from life, and creating a positive, productive environment and successful habits to get us there.
Successful people know what they want and they go after it. ‘IT’ is not a one time decision, but a conscious choice that guides our every thought, decision and action – always. It’s one thing to ‘think’ we want success, but to actually achieve it, we must be ‘IT’ in every step along the way. Great athletes have ‘IT’. They have created for themselves the habits necessary to be successful in their sport:

I believe it is the CONFIDENCE factor in the ‘IT’ that truly defines the great athlete. They see IT, believe IT and portray IT in every training session and every race.
What is ‘IT’?  I'm not sure if ‘IT’ can be defined, but IT is something the best athletes bring to training and performance. Maybe IT is a feeling of strength, of power, of confidence, not only in performance, but of self. IT might be never doubting that you can put out your best performance, choosing to make every race your best race, choosing to make every training lap your best lap, choosing to make every training ride your best ride.  Maybe IT is seeing your best performance before it even happens and choosing to be IT, and believe IT every single time you perform.

"When a man feels throbbing within him the power to do what he undertakes as well as it can possibly be done, this is happiness, this is success."
                                                                           --Orison Swett Marden

For some athletes I can see IT in their eyes before they even race. There is no fear in IT, because IT doesn't mean winning or losing, only best performance. IT is stepping out knowing it's a done deal, because you have felt IT and seen IT and embraced IT because IT belongs to you. IT is a land of no pain, there is only the success of the performance and pain has no place in that performance!

But how do you keep IT on all the time??? Again, we come back to the conscious choice. People who are successful consistently do what they need to do. It’s not based on an ‘I feel great’ or ‘I feel crappy’ day.  You simply consistently check to make sure IT is switched on, and if it’s not, you switch it on. Aligning yourself with like minded people helps to keep IT on. You can even steal a little IT from them and they’ll never even know. Or you can share a little IT so your training group has it’s best performance all the time. After all, if they get better, so do you! So before every training ask yourself if you have IT today. Every time you jump, skate, run, feel IT. Every lap you do, take IT with you. Every start, every pivot, every entry, every exit. Even just jogging or stretching.

It isn't "the best is yet to come"
It wasn't "the best was in the past"
It's never "the best will never be"
It's always "THE BEST...NOW"

                  --Trebor Ecnerwal [alias]

Take IT to every competition with you and no matter what happens, keep switching IT on. If you get jostled in a race, switch IT in to overdrive, cause, dagnabbit, nobody is allowed to do that to you. IT never quits if you don’t allow it to quit.  If somebody cuts you off, switch IT on right away and find another way around. People who have IT don’t make excuses for things that didn’t happen the way they wanted them to. They see opportunity to learn in failures, and find ways to do it better. If you are disqualified, don’t blame the referee. It likely happened because you put yourself in a situation to allow it to happen, so next time find a better way! Don’t blame the ice, your equipment, your competitors, just find a better way, simple as that!

"There's no such things as coulda, shoulda, or woulda. If you shoulda and coulda, you woulda done it."
                                                --Pat Riley

If you see someone else walking around with IT, take a little from them for your own - it's called high test IT. If someone tries to take IT away from you, sorry they can't. Don't let little cat fights, others tantrums, and whiners affect you. Close your ears and your mind to those who would drag you down, those who don’t have IT, don’t know what IT is, and choose not to have IT either.

If a race doesn't have the outcome you want, switch off the disappointment right away and refocus on IT.  Assess, learn, and move forward.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
                                             --Reinhold Niebuhr

IT is what separates those who are almost good enough from those who are good enough. Those who are almost good enough hope that success will randomly find them, magically appearing some day. Those who are good enough make constant and consistent daily choices to be successful and every thought and action takes them in the desired direction.
IT is your CHOICE.