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‘SUCCESS OCCURS WHEN OPPORTUNITY MEETS PREPARATION’
When his competitors fell during competition, Bradbury had executed his race plan up until that point. He found himself in the right place at the right time, and capitalized.
While Bradbury was ‘lucky’ that the others fell, (in both the semi final and final), he had made his own luck to a large extent through planning, preparation and execution, which is why his gold medal embodies Zig Ziglar’s quote:
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.”
Was he ‘lucky’ or was it more a case of planning for an opportunity and taking it? Perhaps both.
Firstly he had to train to qualify for the Olympics in a sport relatively unknown and not well funded in Australia. Then he had to perform well enough to make the semi-finals in order to move on to the finals.
In preparation for the finals, he and his coach made a realistic evaluation of his own capabilities – he wasn’t as fast as the favorites. They also made a realistic assessment of potential events – falls are common. They developed a strategy to seek to strike should opportunity present itself.
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Coach Munro is a lifestyle-athlete and a running coach based in Brisbane, Australia. He is certified by the Athletics Australia as a Level 3 Middle and Long Distance Running Coach.
How many times has someone wished you “good luck” before a race?
When I hear this, I smile, and recognize the positive intention. However, as a coach and athlete, I endeavor to prepare in a manner that leaves as little as possible to chance.
As a case study, consider Stephen Bradbury – Australia’s first Winter Olympic Gold Medalist in speed skating, who won gold when other competitors fell.
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