Serena Williams has never let excuses hold her back.
Serena Williams has never let excuses hold her back.

Lessons Learned From The Greatest Athletes Of Our Generation

Nathan Baugh, Matt Trombley
Articles

I’ve studied the 5 greatest athletes of our generation:

  • Serena Williams
  • LeBron James
  • Lionel Messi
  • Tiger Woods
  • Tom Brady

Here’s what I learned:


Your excuses are holding you back. Serena’s first courts in Compton were frequented by gangs. She played in the 2017 Aussie Open while pregnant. And won her 23rd major. “It requires discipline and determination. Most importantly, it requires self belief.”


Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. Messi was nicknamed “the flea” as a child. He had a growth hormone disorder and Barcelona almost didn’t sign him because of it. He outworked everyone, becoming the world’s best.

Messi almost wasn't signed because of a growth disorder, but that didn't deter him.
Messi almost wasn't signed because of a growth disorder, but that didn't deter him.

Bet on yourself. Brady went from a meme 6th rounder at the age of 22 to winning his 7th Super Bowl at 43. “If you’re lucky, you’ll get picked last. And given the chance to earn the greatest edge of all - will & heart.” If you don’t bet on yourself, why would anyone else?

No one bet on themselves more than Tom Brady did - and it paid off.
No one bet on themselves more than Tom Brady did - and it paid off.

Be ruthless in your pursuit of excellence. Tiger doesn’t talk to his opponents on Sundays. Be kind, be humble, but always play to win.

Tiger Woods is ruthless in pursuit of being the best golfer ever.
Tiger Woods is ruthless in pursuit of being the best golfer ever.

Surround yourself with people you trust. LeBron married his high school sweetheart. He does business with Rich Paul and Maverick Carter, childhood friends. Many have great expectations. Few live up to them. Fewer exceed them. This group helped LeBron more than we’ll ever know.

LeBron James has turned into the "Chosen One" with the help of others.
LeBron James has turned into the "Chosen One" with the help of others.

Bonus: joy comes from unexpected places. Kobe regularly spent hours training in UC Irvine’s small practice facility. “He appreciated our community allowing him to share the space and giving him the respect to immerse himself in his craft.”

Kobe Bryant practices at UC Irvine's facility.
Kobe Bryant practices at UC Irvine's facility.
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