Elite athletes thrive on challenge and competition. They approach their training physically prepared and mentally in the zone, and are committed to realizing their full potential. The same principles that guide an athlete’s training can be applied to every day life, helping you to set goals and follow a daily routine that supports your vision. Follow these 5 habits of successful athletes to harness your inner athlete, and use your mental edge to pursue new challenges.

In your quest to become better, in sports and in life, you must recruit the best possible team that challenges, inspires and propels you to new heights. Set high standards and surround yourself with mentors, or “coaches”, who are more knowledgeable than yourself that can guide you along your journey. Recruit top notch teammates who have the same goals, and demand the best from yourself and those around you.

Elite athletes have a plan of action. They have a clearly defined goal, or purpose for playing, and have established the rituals that will ensure they perform at their best. On the road to finding your inner athlete, setting a goal is the equivalent of putting gas in your car. Having purpose is your fuel, but rituals – the habits you repeat day in and day out – are the roadmap that will deliver you to your destination. Make a list of tasks you can complete every day that contributes to your vision. This is your playbook, the roadmap to your success, so follow it!

Highly effective athletes revolve their days around becoming better athletes – they follow the play book. They train specifically to improve upon their sport, and have a properly balanced diet and sleeping schedule that allows them to fully benefit from their training. It’s important that you realize all of your actions have consequences, and pay attention to old habits that may hinder your performance and deter you from achieving your goal. Don’t forfeit the game by staying up too late, consuming too much alcohol, or skipping workouts when you’ve had a bad day.

On game day, athletes know their role and play their position. How can you relate this to your life? Build upon your strengths and spend less time focusing on your weaknesses. Devote your time to improving your abilities and increasing your knowledge in areas that directly contribute to what you do best. If you have a long, lean body and enjoy cross country running, do not waste valuable time struggling to become a power lifter. Embrace your natural talents, and strive to improve upon what you inherently do well.

Great athletes triumph in the face of adversity and failure. Their goals serve as the motivation that inspires them to ruthlessly prepare for a game or competition. On the road to finding your inner athlete, you must find purpose, passion, dedication and drive to make your vision a reality. Elite athletes are confident enough to perform, humble enough to prepare, and passionate enough to keep playing – no matter the odds.

Sarah Dalton is the founder of Able Mind Able Body, a Las Vegas based company offering motivational lifestyle coaching and personal training services. She takes a holistic approach to healthy living, and educates others on the benefits of nutrition, exercise, and emotional health. Visit www.ablemindablebody.com for more info.