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When working at a level of excellence, everybody has skill. It is no longer a precious commodity. The rare commodity is will. The people who have the skill and the will are no longer merely excellent, but champions. It is these few who have the grit to be immortalized as legends.

Champions are not affected by bad days. They know they come with the territory. A bad day does not define a champion. A champion knows that bad days pass – he will train regardless, because these days will make him stronger when it counts. He knows that the good days always come back around. A champion will not allow a pebble to knock his castle down.

1972:  Muhammad Ali during training for his fight with Al "Blue" Lewis held in Dublin,Republic of Ireland in 1972. (Photo by Getty Images)

1972: Muhammad Ali during training for his fight with Al “Blue” Lewis held in Dublin,Republic of Ireland in 1972. (Photo by Getty Images)

Champions realize the true benefit of time and effort. When basic training becomes mundane and easy because it has been repeated so often, a champion does it anyway. When the hard stuff becomes a walk in the park, a champion does it anyway. A champion knows that repetition is what hones and perfects skill. He knows that as long as he has the will, he will find himself standing at the top of the heap.

A champion knows that skill is easy. He is not content with skill alone; he is after something far greater.

A champion doesn’t dream the impossible dream – he makes it a reality.