We’ve been taught since birth that there are lines you can’t cross, but there is one line that you have to cross to get where you want to go, to be what you want to be – The Finish Line.

The main reason for losing and failure (by whatever definition you attach to these actions) is stopping short of the finish line. Contrary to popular belief, there are finish lines. Those who cross the most, win the most. Those who cross the least, win the least. “There is no finish line” makes for a catchy T-shirt, poster, tattoo, or bumper sticker but in reality, there are finish lines to every set, every workout, every assignment, every practice, every play, every game, every tour of duty. Each one has a finish line that has to be crossed to win. The real meaning to “there is no finish line” is never stop entering races, never stop working out, never stop playing, never stop working, never stop achieving, never stop living.

Crossing the finish line is the number one lesson I have to teach my football players because the skill and will of crossing the finish line doesn’t just happen. It’s a skill that has to be learned through reps. Crossing the finish line means finishing the job that needs to be done. Finish the play, finish the job, finish what you start. The finish line gets farther away at every new level you compete in. The higher you go, the further the finish line gets. The finish line never gets shorter.

There are three training keys that work out all the time when teaching rookies the skill and will of consistently crossing the finish line:

1. Set a concrete finish line to every aspect of training.
2. Make “crossing the finish line” habitual.
3. After they’ve developed the habit, push the finish line farther away.

Then, the ultimate – the invisible finish line. Don’t tell them where the finish line is until they are down the stretch. Keep the finish line a secret until near the end of the set or the workout or practice, in order to condition their minds to never drop out. When the mind keeps fighting even though it can’t see the finish line, a champion’s heart and soul is built.

So many achievements are never accomplished because of dropping out before the finish line. The reason for dropping out is that the mind gives out and gives up long before the body does. The mind convinces the body that the tank is empty long before the tank is actually empty. Every championship ring in history has been won by those who don’t listen to their mind’s games – the games that convince you that you aren’t good enough, aren’t smart enough, aren’t big enough, fast enough, strong enough. Every championship ring is won by those who never listen to “you’re not worthy”, “you’re not in the same class as you’re opponent”, or that “you’re second-rate or third-rate or even lower.”

Mind games are won by learning how to cross the finish line over and over and over again. If you can’t learn it on your own, find a coach who will teach you how to never drop out, never quit, never give in – sometimes we just can’t do it on own – we need the soul of a lifter to develop our soul of a lifter. The most important people in our lives are our mentors, those who get rid of our weaknesses instead of rewarding them and celebrating them. Our mentors are those special people who cross our path for a reason. They’re assigned the job of transforming us – mind, body, and soul – even when we are a “pain in the ass.” Even when we don’t deserve it. We’d all be in big trouble if our mentors had decided to drop out before crossing the finish line. We’d all be a mess if our mentors decided to quit because the job was too tough or didn’t seem worth it. When it’s our turn to be the mentor, we have to remember the lessons we learned from our own mentors – cross the finish line no matter what it takes or what gets in the way.

#Peace #Blessings #BuonAnno.

Gino Arcaro M.Ed., B.Sc., NCCP Level 3
Head coach – Niagara X-men football
Owner – X Fitness Inc.

Gino Arcaro is a widely-published author. His website, blog, Youtube channel, and list of books are at: www.ginoarcaro.com His books include: 4th & hell: seasons 1-5, Soul of a Lifter, SWAT Offense, SWAT Defense, X Fitness Workout System. More books will be released in 2014. He also has written 20 editions of 6 law enforcement academic textbooks.