Champions are boring.

Champions are boring.


Well that’s not quite true. There are many champions who are very interesting people. Serena Williams, Mohammad Ali, Michael Jordan; all champions and all very interesting people.

What I mean to say is that champions master the art of boredom.

Let me explain.

In order to be great at something, you need to do the stuff the majority of people won’t do. And the biggest reason why people don’t do things is that they don’t find them stimulating. They fall into the ‘I can’t be bothered’ trap.

True champions rarely utter the words ‘I can’t be bothered’.

Now, this doesn’t mean champions leap out of bed with boundless energy for every pre-breakfast workout. It doesn’t mean champions love scouring through every menu to find the meal with the least amount of polyunsaturated fat content.

I guarantee you most athletes find both of the above actions tiresome and tedious, but here’s the kicker…. they do them anyway!

Here are 4 reasons why you need to do the boring things:

  1. Sport and business are both highly competitive industries. The margins between profit and loss, winning and losing are getting smaller. It will be the little things you do that will likely make all the difference.
  2. Most likely your competitors aren’t doing the boring things. This is your opportunity to can get an advantage over them.
  3. The only way you can reach your full potential is to do everything you can to bring out and nurture your talent. Without doing this you will never truly know how good you can be.
  4. Making sacrifices provides great motivation for when the going gets tough. It is harder to quit when you know you’ve sacrificed and worked hard to get to this point. Champions don’t quit.

Some of the things that champions can find boring, but still do include:

  • Train by yourself, when no one is looking.
  • Use a foam roller, ice sore bits and stretch.
  • Review game and training performances closely.
  • Choose the healthy option instead of the tasty, more convenient option.
  • Go home early because they prioritize sleep.
  • Cook and prepare their own food.
  • Obsess over marginal gains.
  • Set and monitor goals
  • Study the sport and its trends.
  • Look after their equipment
  • Practice the things you aren’t naturally good at.

The same rules apply for business people.

Business champions always:

  • Review performances closely.
  • Plan and determine what good performance looks like.
  • Provide timely feedback.
  • Seek and accept coaching.
  • Study trends and innovations.
  • Be an expert.

Whether you are a sports person or businessperson, you owe it to yourself to ‘be ready’ to perform each and every time you are required to. By doing the boring things you give yourself the best chance of performing at a consistently high level, under pressure, and in any conditions.

These are the 3 qualities I use to describe high performers (nee champions).

Talent will only get you so far… it is what you surround that talent with and how you nurture that talent that will make all the difference.

Finally, which of these immensely talented tennis players do you think is more likely to do the boring things well – Roger Federer or Nick Kyrgios?

I rest my case!

About the author:

Nathan Burke started his career as a schoolteacher before the demands of elite level football with St Kilda F.C. took over. Following a successful corporate career he founded Nathan Burke Consulting – a Melbourne based firm that offers High Performance Training and Coaching solutions to corporates, schools and sports teams. Nathan has recently been appoined as Head Coach of the Western Bulldogs AFLW team.

To enquire about workshops, masterclasses and have Nathan come to your team/work click here: