What makes a champion… Champion? How is it that some people, who are extraordinary in training, crumble when they compete?
Georges St-Pierre understands that well. Here’s what makes the difference:
There are guys that are not that good in the gym… But when they compete, you’re like: “My God, he’s doing much better than I thought!”
And there’s the other type of guy that is very good at the gym, that are kind of bullies in the gym. But when they compete, you’re like: “Man, what the hell happened to this guy?”
And that’s what makes a champion – champion. A champion has the capacity to be good when it counts. When it matters.
To be a champion, you have to be good when it matters. At that time, at that location, under those conditions.
However, for some athletes, that doesn’t work:
Some guys, they just can’t turn it on. And that’s what makes the difference.
Very often, it’s because of the psychological problems… You know, they get crushed under pressure. They get overwhelmed. But it’s normal to be afraid.
St-Pierre then shared a very good metaphor for fear:
Cus D’Amato used to say to Mike Tyson: “Fire can help you cook your food… But it can also burn you.”
So, fear can be a good thing. It can elevate you; you’re sharper, your reaction time [is better], your decision making time – you’ll be on the edge. You’ll be faster, sharper, quicker.
However, it can also make you crumble under pressure. You need to take it for what is good, not for what is bad.