Excellence(Arete) is a term that captures the idea of being unusually better than ordinary standards. But it is more than just the results of the game that you play, it’s how you or your team played the game.

Excellence also captures your desire and ability to play at a peak level of skill, so it reveals a strong desire to continuously improve your skill-set. There is no coach in the country that will talk-you-down if you told them that you want to be excellent!

Words, however, only go so far when you are speaking about Arete…then action has to be seen. At seed level, Arete is you chasing down your peak level of skill through practice training. But only when your actions have become habitual, is Arete truly born.

It is very difficult to excel in anything and one barrier that can make it almost impossible for you to excel is almost paradoxical – confidence.

Confidence, for some people, leaves them with smirks on their faces and a lazy attitude towards practice. Why??? “Because aint nobody better than me right now son!”

You may have never heard what I am about to say but please grasp what I am about to reveal. I heard it first from my mentor…he said, “Confidence like every living concept has a maturity process. Your confidence must mature.”

It’s what I now call Honest Confidence. Honest confidence knows that it can be less than if it doesn’t work hard. As a sport psychology coach, I have to be patient with this process.

Marcelo Garcia, a world famous grappler and jiu-jitsu competitor had this great quote that I read in The Fighter’s Mind: Inside the Mental Game by Sam Sheridan,

“I used to think it was a product of being great – that the truly great fighters learned humility in the process of becoming great….I start to think that maybe it’s the other way around, that you can’t be great without humility. The most humble guys, who are the most open and willing to learn, are the ones who become the best….You have to understand you can lose….but you can overcome. You can’t be a quitter, you have to understand loss.”

Don’t let your confidence, which is needed, be your weakness. Excel……Mature!

What have you been doing to get over your barriers to excellence?
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