Every day in life we face temptations of possible shortcuts and opportunities to get somewhere with less effort.

Typically, athletes who live ethically with solid values will make the appropriate decision not to take shortcuts and recognize that they do not have to ‘cheat you’ to beat you.’

Lesson PDF

Get a printable version of this Lesson.

TrueSport Program

A robust expert-based resource library with athletes, parents, and coaches in mind.

Coaching Education

Become a TrueSport Certified Coach by completing the three education modules.

Shortcuts: Quick-Hitters

Success does not count unless you earn it fair and square.
Don't cheat yourself by taking shortcuts because in the end you lose.
if you don't have time to do it over, do it right the first time.

Shortcuts: The Basics

Shortcut: A route that is shorter or more direct than the one usually taken, or a way of saving time and effort in doing something. Every day in life we face temptations of possible shortcuts and opportunities to get somewhere with less effort. Efficiency will certainly make the journey easier, but make no mistake—anything worthwhile takes diligence and hard work. If you want to be a writer you must write. If you want to be a successful athlete, you must train. Sometimes athletes may take shortcuts like skipping a tough practice, taking medications that are not prescribed to them, or they may not give 100 percent in a workout. They may even turn to performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) to try to add muscle quicker or recover faster. Typically, athletes who live ethically will make the appropriate decision not to take shortcuts and recognize that they do not have to ‘cheat you’ to beat you.’ When an athlete is faced with the decision of whether to take a shortcut, it’s helpful to think through the six steps of the Decision-Making Model:

Decision Making Model

Shortcuts: Ambassador Story

Watch this Ambassador Story with Veronica Day or read the lesson aloud.

Veronica Day headshot

In sports, there are ample opportunities to take shortcuts when no one is watching. Team USA skeleton athlete, Veronica Day, knows shortcuts are not the way to success.

In the sport of skeleton, athletes are permitted only a finite number of runs they can take on the ice per day, so Veronica has learned to take full advantage of the few runs she has.

In addition to taking advantage of the opportunities she is provided for on-ice training, she also recognizes the importance of doing the more mundane tasks like sled maintenance, sanding runners, visualization exercises, and general studying. It would be easy for her to skip these steps, but without them, she knows she can’t maximize her time on the ice, nor expect to progress.

She knows she cannot cheat herself by taking shortcuts, because in the end she would lose. She doesn’t have time to do it over, so she has to do it right the first time. TrueSport athletes find their unlimited potential through hard work, respect, integrity, and without shortcuts that often rob others of the authentic victory they deserve.

Ambassador Story Questions

1. What was the main point you took away from the ambassador story?

2. Can you think of other shortcuts that athletes might take in your particular sport?

3. How can you practice not taking shortcuts in your sport and in life?

4. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” What does this quote mean to you?

KEEP READING