During this Olympics I am getting more questions than ever about the Olympics, Olympism and achievement.

One of the questions that I received was the following:

“How do leaders in their fields, such as judo, stay sharp and maintain their competitive edge and realize their goals and dreams?”


Here’s what I know. Before any major exercise, competition or event, the one thing that all persons do is warmup and stretch in preparation for the event.

Now when it comes to your warmup, your warm up is usually a direct reflection of your training.  Meaning, if you look at Michael Phelps, the world class swimmer, you will notice that he has a very long and arduous warm up process. His warm up would be a full scale workout for most high school and collegiate level swimmers.  And his ability and need to warmup as a such a level is due to the immense amount of preparation that he has done beforehand.  So the first answer to that question is that you have to prepare in an EXTRAordinary manner. In my book, “Coffee With Rhadi” I speak of how champions must do the “extra” in order to be “extra”-ordinary. Otherwise, a life of average awaits.

Secondly, it is important to stretch.  The flexibility of a world class athlete differs greatly from the general population. And this flexibility is not just physical but also mental. The ability for a world class athlete to think in terms of the impossible and to make that a reachable goal is amazing.

Just think, how many people in this world actually set out to do something that has never been done before, like set a new world record.  Not many. Most of us have not stretched enough mentally to allow ourselves to have the mental flexibility to believe and know that we can be the best in the world at something.

So the answer to the question is that leaders stay sharp through constant preparation, constant stretching and via a constant state of readiness by staying “warmed up.”   More specifically, this is done through cutting-edge education, quality relationships, excellent coaching, a diverse peer mentoring environment and rigorous training.

And all of these things are ALWAYS done by the most successful of athletes, coaches, teachers and professionals.

Dedicated To Your Improvement,

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson
2004 Olympian