The Tokyo Olympics are in full swing, which means there’s one question on everyone’s mind: what does it take to get into the Olympics? Everyone knows that it must take grit, determination, and talent, but what else?
Most Olympic athletes have dedicated their entire lives to participating in the Olympics. It took years of work, countless hours listening to coaches, and a dedicated team planning every step of the way. But for many, those ideas still sound somewhat abstract.
Let’s start with the most apparent requirements; talent and the willingness to keep on practicing. Not all athletes start out knowing how to play their sport of choice – or immediately excelling at it.
However, Olympic athletes are at the top of their game, and thus more often than not, they start with a higher level of raw talent. This is okay – great even. They are also willing to put in the hours to train and get better. This is a winning combination, sometimes literally.
Support and Training
Practicing and working hard on your own is fantastic – but Olympic athletes have to take this a step further. They need to have a robust support system, including experienced coaches that know how to properly train athletes.
A good coach knows how to spot a player’s weaknesses and how to fix them. They also know how to strategize, schedule, and create regimens. All of which are required if one wants to make their way to the Olympics.
Regardless of which sports one has in mind, the next natural step in this process is to begin competing. Join a club and play matches, compete against other athletes of your experience and level.
Over time, one’s experience and skills will go up, and one can begin to compete at higher levels. Eventually, this process will pave a path that could lead them towards the Olympics. Remember, on average, a person needs to compete in National Championships before they are ever considered to represent their country at the Olympics.
There is nothing wrong with setting a lower goal and adjusting it each time one hits it. The key is to keep practicing, keep competing, and keep working for that ultimate goal.