I meet and learn from champions every day. Not just in locker rooms but in classrooms, hospitals, homeless shelters, homes and office buildings. I’ve learned that to be a champion you must Think Like a Champion.

Champions think differently than everyone else. They approach their life and work with a different mindset and belief system that separates them from the pack. Here’s a look at five ways to think like one.

1. Champions Expect to Win

When they walk on the court, on the field, into a meeting or in a classroom they expect to win. In fact they are surprised when they don’t win. They expect success and their positive beliefs often lead to positive actions and outcomes.

Champions win in their mind first and then they win in the hearts and minds of their customers, students or fans.

2. Champions Celebrate the Small Wins

By celebrating the small wins, champions gain the confidence to go after the big wins. Big wins and big success happen through the accumulation of many small victories. Developing teamwork certainly makes this easier.

This doesn’t mean champions become complacent. Rather, with the right kind of celebration and reinforcement, champions work harder, practice more and believe they can do greater things.

3. Champions Don’t Make Excuses When They Don’t Win

Champions don’t focus on the faults of others. They focus on what they can do better. They see their mistakes and defeats as opportunities for growth.

As a result they become stronger, wiser and better.

4. Champions Focus on What They Get To Do, Not What They Have To Do

Champions see their life and work as a gift not an obligation. They know that if they want to achieve a certain outcome, they must commit to and appreciate the process.

They may not love every minute of their journey. However, a champion’s attitude and will helps them develop their skill.

5. Champions Believe They Will Experience More Wins in the Future

Faith is greater than their fear. Positive energy is greater than the chorus of negativity. Certainty is greater than all the doubt. Passion and purpose are greater than their challenges. In spite of their situation, champions believe their best days are ahead of them, not behind them.

If you don’t think you have what it takes to be a champion, think again. Champions aren’t born. They are shaped and molded. And as iron sharpens iron, you can develop your mindset and the mindset of your team with the right thinking, beliefs and expectations that lead to powerful actions.

Related: Keys to Winning Basketball Games and Championships


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High School Hoops

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