Today, Grappy and I were having a little impromptu practice before I head out to God’s country to watch the Jayhawks when we heard a knock at his door. Kyle Snyder peeked his head in and asked if he could interrupt. Kyle Snyder is the Buckeye’s heavyweight grappler and just won the world championship this past summer. Kyle’s a sophomore with Olympic contender written all over him. Kyle’s elite but you would never know it just from looking at him. You would have to know him to know.

So, Grappy and I followed Kyle this morning. We let him change our plans. Grappy is his coach, remember. Grappy followed. This is always a sign of elite performers – their leaders follow them too. Very cool. We walked in the wrestling room and it was eerily quiet. Looking forward there was not a soul to be found. Kyle had to come get us because he needed a teammate to spot him as he lifted freakin’ crazy weights on his incline bench sets. As I glanced to my left, I noticed a heavily suited crazy on the treadmill. There was one other soul in the room this am. His name – Logan Stieber. Logan, 4 time NCAA champion, Stieber. One of four in the history of the sport to claim 4 individual titles. As we walked by him, he gave a slight nod and zoned back out. Logan is training for the Olympics. He’s on a mission. I’m not sure he knew we were even there. He didn’t say a word as we walked out. He’s training. Good.

You see, elite performers are not normal, nor do they care. They train when nobody sees. They train even when they have to go find a spotter on their own. They train when it’s too cold, too hot, and they’re too tired. They train. No excuses. It doesn’t matter the sport or the endeavor, elite performers train. Earlier this week, I talked to my high school friend, Grover, who is one of the elite producers at Lockton Companies. He’s been a top producer there for what seems like forever. He’s hurting right now. His back is bad. Really bad. You would never know unless you know him. He couldn’t make a trip out west because he can’t sit on an airplane. He’s living with an ice bag and it’s not a whole lotta fun. He’s still training. He’s still making calls, driving associates, and living service for his clients. You wouldn’t know he’s elite unless you know him. He doesn’t talk much about it. He trains.

Elite performers train. They train when nobody sees. They don’t care, either. They care about mastering their craft not if they’re getting noticed. Kinda reminds me of one of my favorite Margaret Thatcher lines – “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” Elite performers train. Normal folks talk. Excuse makers talk a lot. We don’t need more excuses in your system. We could use a few more elite and you could be one. You could be, if you’re willing to keep working, shut your mouth, and simply train.

Train, my friend. Train…


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