• Mark McKoy

The Domino Effect!

The question I get asked the most is..."How were you able to do what no other Canadian Track & Field Athlete had done for 60 years?"

At first the answer was simple. Like all athletes, I had goals (dreams) and worked hard to achieve them. But, as I thought deeper about my standard answer, I realized that there had to be more. All athletes (at the Olympic or Professional level) had goals (dreams) and worked hard. And even though It is an amazing achievement to attain that level of performance, there is a huge difference between being an Olympian and winning them. Winning takes "achievement" to a whole new level!

So, after 16 years of international competition at it's highest level, competing for Canada around the globe, and 25 years of research (theory and methodology is something that has always interested me - even throughout my athletic carer) on what I did differently from all of the great and talented athletes that came before me, I am finally starting to put the puzzle together.

A message to all of you young athletes and parents out there. I took the long road to get there. It was a long and hard road. Lessons learned, mistakes made, it was a long (but worthwhile) journey. And I guarantee, a journey that most athletes are not willing to take.

So, if you think you (as a young athlete) or your child (a parent of a young athlete) is ready (and willing) to take the journey to pursue a dream of becoming the 1%, please learn from my journey and hopefully navigate a less turbulant path. Anything is possible (as you will see) if you are patient, diligent, persistent, work hard (without excuses) and willing to do "Whatever it takes." Willing to do what the 99% are not willing to do, I will lead you through my process. I will try to help you navigate the landmines that you will inevitably encounter along the way and hopefully lead you down a straighter (shorter) path. Don't get me wrong, no matter how many potholes you manage to avoid along your journey, it will be tough. I discovered that the process is actually quite simple, but far from easy. There is a book, "Don't sweat the small stuff." Well, it should really be called, "Sweat the small stuff...not the stupid stuff." The path to a successful athletic career inevitably comes with many hurdles, the only difference between an Olympian and an Olympic Champion is...resilience!

So, the first and foremost step in this journey is...DISCIPLINE!

Discipline is the most important key to success. Most people throw this term around thinking that they have it. Once again, simple but not easy. Most people think they are disciplined but in reality they go through life in a state of delusion. I have discovered that there is an easy way to determine if someone has "Discipline" or not, or if they are fooling themselves. I call it, "Listening with your eyes." I heard a great saying recently, "DO what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it, the way you say you are going to do it." It really is that simple. If you follow this simple quote, you will achieve success.

Now here's the hard part (and where the "Domino Effect" comes into play). You can't just start and stop whenever you like or is convenient. You can't set goals and pick and chose the things you like to do and neglect the rest. Success comes from consistent action. Just one missed workout, just one bad meal is all it takes to sabotage your progress and set you back to square one. One night out and one bad nights sleep will have a "Domino Effect" on everything else that you do. Now, I know that sounds harsh, but that's just what it takes. You can't pick and chose. That's the difference between the 99% and the 1%. The 1% constantly do what the 99% are not willing to. A sacrifice? Of course. But that's a choice only you can make. It all comes down to "How Bad You Want It." But don't lie to yourself saying that you do knowing that you are cutting corners here and cutting corners there. Trust me, when you line up on the starting line only you know if you have done the work. Only you know if you have done "Whatever It Took." And when the gun goes, all the wishing in the world can't take you back to the day that; you slept in, or you were sick or to injured to train, or couldn't miss that party that all of your friends were going to, or just had to have that ice cream or chocolate, or the 1000 other excuses you had. Guess what? your competitors don't care. They are actually happy happy that you had those excuses. That's just one less person for them to worry about.

Still interested in being the 1%? ... then read on ...


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