For as long as he can remember, USA Olympian and Level 5 Olympic Weightlifting Coach Michael Cohen knew he’d become an athlete. At age three, his father and top-notch weightlifter Howard Cohen gave him a set of plastic weights and taught him to squat.
Three Olympic Games later (one as an athlete and two as a head coach) and after producing a myriad of athletes medaling at National, Junior National, Senior and Master Championships through his work with Team Savannah (including his two teenage sons), Michael offers us his tips for success, both in business and in athletics.
Laser your focus
Coach Cohen asks us to picture a dark room. While most people would use a flashlight to illuminate as much of the room as possible, he argues that successful people – from world-class athletes, to surgeons, etc. – would use a laser to hone in on a specific area of the room. If you approach your goals in this same way, it eliminates the grey area and allows you to concentrate on what matters.
Override your inner voice
Coach Cohen is a big fan of our mantra, “kill the quit.” He says that there are two people in every person – one on the inside, and one on the outside. The person on the inside is tasked with protecting you, which also makes them likely to encourage taking the easy, safe route. You have to override that person to make your dreams – both athletically speaking and professionally – a reality.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Coach Cohen believes that you can’t experience success without failure and that how successful you become is measured in large part by how you survive and thrive in the face of failure. While not all athletes will become Olympians, every failure they overcome will propel them forward. He says that life is like an archer and the target is our goal – sometimes you have to take a step back in order to see the target more clearly.
Coach Cohen is hosts seminars across the country to help athletes improve their lifting technique and performance. Seminars are designed for all levels of athlete – from beginner to advanced, athlete to coach. To learn more about these seminars, visit Coach Cohen’s website.
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