ONE moment with Rich Franklin: Overcoming adversity through sport

In this bi-weekly column 'ONE Moment with Rich Franklin', ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC)'s Vice President (VP) talks about his life lessons through the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). The 'Ace' is a former World Middleweight Champion with a professional record of 29-7. This week, he shares his thoughts on how sport has helped him to overcome adversity in life.

If you do not perform at optimal levels, you should not expect optimal results. (Photo: Rich Franklin)If you do not perform at optimal levels, you should not expect optimal results. (Photo: Rich Franklin)

I remember the first evaluation I received from administration during my high school teaching career. Although I received a passing evaluation, it was below my standard. While I felt like I failed my students, I also failed myself.

My standard is excellence in everything I pursue and anything less than excellent is subpar. Although disappointed, I attribute my ability "to overcome", to my involvement in sports my entire life.

You must first realize that failure in any endeavor is inevitable.

If you never fail in life, it is a good indicator that your standard is set too low. Re-evaluate your goals, challenge yourself and create new ones. Never fear failure; instead fear the stagnant nature most people experience after a failure.

It is what I call paralysis through analysis. People often become paralyzed in a future decision making process after a failure. In any decision-making process, obviously a bad decision is your worst option. Indecision is the second worst thing you can do.

As a mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete, I spend most of my practices doing things incorrectly. My coaches rarely praise what I do well as much as critique my errors. I accept my shortcomings, understand it is part of the game, and look to improve upon them the following session.

While I may continue to do things incorrectly the next session, I focus on improvement. If I do not exhibit improvement, it may be time to reassess my methods of preparation. I have had coaches who told me my entire life, "nothing beats hard work." Through years of training I learned smart work beats hard work!

The athlete understands the importance of preparation. I spend over eight hours preparing for every minute I spend fighting in the cage. Let me say that again – eight HOURS for every MINUTE.

Whether you are putting together a presentation for work or a meal plan for the week, preparation is the foundation your life is built on. A poor foundation will only yield similar results!

We are all fighters, whether we are fighting cancer, struggling to feed our families or closing a business negotiation. Sports appeal to the mind, body and soul triune nature of man and help us achieve balance in life.

A busy schedule encourages you to underestimate the stress relief of a morning run or the importance it plays in keeping the body healthy. You are a fine tuned machine that needs constant tuning to perform at optimal levels.

Bottomline, if you do not perform at optimal levels, you should not expect optimal results.

For more inspiration from Rich Franklin, follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@RichFranklin).


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