Whether you are training for a race, or climbing the career ladder, Hong Kong’s competitive atmosphere is impossible to ignore. Luckily, international sailor and head racing coach at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Rob Partridge, is on hand to give us some tips on how to achieve your goals and set you on a winning streak.
When it comes to succeeding in competitive sports, having the right mindset is just as important as having the right skills and coaching. With this in mind, here are my top six tips to help get you to the finish line.
6 Tips for Succeeding in Competitive Sports
1. Set your goals
If you want to be successful in sports, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Setting overly ambitious goals, even if they seem a long way from your current reality, challenges you to achieve them. Don’t be afraid to set the bar high.
2. Make a plan
Having goals alone is not enough. You need a strategy of how you are going to get there and a pathway that provokes positive action towards the greater goal. One strategy I use is self-coaching by videoing my training on the water and then pushing myself to improve before competitions.
3. Do not give up
Hard work and endurance is key. Taking part in any sport feels like a rollercoaster ride, with many ups and downs as you make progress. Sometimes we all have bad days and sometimes good, but no matter what, you need to keep a perspective on your long-term goal and the strategy that you have already made. Mistakes are not ‘failures’ – they are ‘opportunities to learn and improve’.
4. Be prepared to make sacrifices
In Hong Kong there are a lot of pressures and it is easy to lose track. You have to decide if you would rather be a jack-of-all-trades and master of none, or if you want to be really good at something. Prioritising your time requires cutting out some of the less important things that you would still like to do, but are not necessarily helping you towards reaching your goal. This is a balancing act because everyone needs time to rest, relax, and recover.
5. Surround yourself with supportive people
I try to avoid unnecessary distractions and spend time with people who share common goals and understand where I’m trying to get to. It’s also important to reach out to more experienced people who have been along your journey previously, as these mentors can offer great guidance and are a great source of inspiration – you get to learn from their mistakes!
6. Make sure you have fun!
If you are going to spend a lot of time working towards something, it has to be fun, otherwise you may question why you are pursuing it!