The world of professional sports is filled with people who have grand ambitions. This is a world with no excuses and, to reach the highest level, you have to abide by a rigorous training schedule and work for years. For people that have their own aspirations for their career or personal hobbies, you can learn a lot from professional athletes and their stories. Let’s take a look at some examples of ambitious athletes in professional sports.
Tom Brady started off as an NFL quarterback that seemingly no one wanted. After being drafted #199 overall, it looked as though he may never get the chance to prove himself as a starting quarterback. All through his college career, Brady pushed himself to gain recognition over his peers. Once he was finally given an opportunity in the NFL to start a game, he seized the opportunity and was quickly named the full time starter.
Since then, Brady has gone on to become the most accomplished quarterback of all time. After winning 6 Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, most athletes would be content. Instead Brady faced the last remaining doubters that said he was only successful due to coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots’ system. Rather than retire with that shadow hanging over his career, he left the team and joined the lackluster Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning another Super Bowl immediately.
Now, despite being in the twilight of his career, Tom Brady still plays at the highest level and we can see his team, returning champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are the consistent favorite in their matchups this season. In their first season game versus the Dallas Cowboys, the Buccaneers are the overwhelming -275 favorites. Brady has nothing left to prove in the NFL and now continues to compete strictly for legacy reasons.
UFC fighter Conor McGregor has developed an almost cult-like personality. If there is one professional athlete you can look to for inspiration, it is certainly McGregor. The mystique that surrounded McGregor early in his career is something that will be discussed and written about for years to come.
McGregor made a habit early on of calling out the round he will finish his opponent in. For this, he earned the nickname “Mystic Mac.” He announced every step of his meteoric rise from taking his first world title, to claiming his second in a higher weight class, to his record breaking PPV boxing match against Floyd Mayweather. We can learn a lot from McGregor including how to have unshakable confidence, to always keep your eye on your goals, and to tell others your plans so they become mesmerized by your ambition and work with you to achieve your goals.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is a NBA player that represents the new class. Older figures like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Dwyane Wade are all on their way out or already retired. Giannis is a young and hungry athlete that is ready to claim his place among the best NBA players alive. To truly be considered among the best, he needs to win his first championship. Currently, Giannis and the Milwaukee Bucks are currently in the last round of the NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns. After coming so close in past seasons, just to fall short, it may finally be Giannis’ time to prove himself.
Giannis is no stranger to adversity as his life has always been about overcoming obstacles set in front of him. He was born in Greece to Nigerian immigrant parents and had immense challenges to face from the start. For the first 18 years of his life, he was completely without citizenship, having neither Greek nor Nigerian papers.
In between basketball practice, he struggled to help his family pay the bills. He realized from a young age that the only way to truly break the cycle of poverty in his family was to succeed in basketball, which meant the insurmountable task of becoming talented enough to get scouted by the NBA. Giannis shows us that regardless of your upbringing, you can achieve greatness through hard work and dedication.