Discipline is the glue that creates the connection between the traits of any good athlete, business person, or entrepreneur. It holds together all the soft skills needed to excel. Hard work, time management, leadership, and toughness are meaningless without the discipline to use these skills consistently.
Making the choices that support and enable you to work toward your goals day after day, with no regard for what might seem “easier” or “more fun” takes discipline and constitutes what many successful athletes, and business professionals attribute to their success. Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, known for his discipline, said, “Once you set a goal, it’s all about how hard you’re willing to work, how much you’re willing to sacrifice and how badly you truly want it”. Elon Musk, arguably the most influential business person today is also known for his discipline, says, “Ordinary people to choose to be extraordinary.” These two individuals display through their own stories of success how doing the little things right and practicing discipline in every choice they make leads to fulfillment in both athletics and business.
Today’s world is hyper-competitive. As society progresses, what it means to be excellent at something becomes harder and harder. In athletics we very rarely have three sport athletes in college – it takes years of focusing on one sport from a very early age to stand out. In business there are more startups and capital driving competition than ever. It is no longer enough to simply be talented, or be a hard worker some of the time. Excelling at what you do requires much more. It requires the inner desire to do the little things right in order to achieve. As a student athlete the discipline to enact upon other traits like hard work, time management, and leadership is cultivated. You are asked constantly to sacrifice in order to become a better athletes for yourself and for your team. You are asked to do all the things a college student does, plus the commitment bigger than yourself to excel and continue to grow in your sport.
This discipline to make the difficult choices to get better has been ingrained into you from the early stages of competing, to the highest level of collegiate sport. Continue to grow this discipline and use it not only as an athlete but as a professional; it is one of the most valued traits a student athlete has to offer.