4 Secrets of Success from 2-Time Olympian Peter Shmock

4 Secrets of Success from 2-Time Olympian Peter Shmock

Who is Peter Shmock?

A two-time US Olympian, Peter Shmock began his track career at the University of Oregon, where he was teammates with running legend Steve Prefontaine and coached by Bill Bowerman, who also coached Phil Knight and later helped Knight co-found Nike.

After his Olympic career, Shmock continued to work with elite athletes, coaching both the Seattle Mariners baseball team and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Author of The Way of The Life Athlete, he founded the top fitness center in the Pacific Northwest, where he continues to train athletes when he's not speaking, writing, or surfing.

Today' we catch up with Peter to pick his brain and share with you the secrets and habits that fuel some of the most successful people in the world - in sport, business, and life.


4 Lessons From A 2-Time Olympian

1. Find a proven method and trust it

Success does not happen overnight, and it does not happen by accident.

Whether your goal is Olympic-level strength, expert-level success in business, or to disrupt the culture like Phil Knight did with Nike, the realization of your goal will require years of continuous education, self-evolution, and effort.

Peter reminds us that in order to enjoy the fruits of success, we must first fall in love with the process, focus on daily actions, and habits, trust the method, show up consistently, do the work, and - perhaps most overlooked - separate the work from our personal ego.

2. The Right Mentors Make all the difference

Peter's mentors included Olympic track athletes, world-record holding powerlifters, Hall of Fame baseball players, and culture changing business minds (Bowerman, Phil Knight, and Nike absolutely changed our culture). 

As you can see, his mentors spanned multiple disciplines. He sought input from high achievers in all walks of life, not just his own specialization. This strategy can help us become more well-rounded individuals and fuels growth in all disciplines of life.

The other key element to absorbing as much as possible from your mentors is to actually be open to learning from them. Which leads us to lesson #3...

3. Most successful people are lifetime learners

Look no further than the people mentioned in this episode...Carlton Fisk, Edgar Martinez, Phil Knight, Steve Prefontaine, and Peter himself...Hall of Famers, Olympians, MVP's, and people who changed their sport, culture, and the world - continued to learn and look for new ways to improve throughout their careers.

You're reading this, you're listening to the OPP, which means you're probably a growth minded individual who already embodies the values of one who never stops learning.

So think of this is less of a "learn this" and more of a reminder to keep your mind open, seek to learn something from every person and every situation you encounter. And don't be afraid to reach out to the person you want as a mentor.

4. Be Adaptable and Flow Like Water

Peter's surfing background and what I believe to be a Tao Te Ching influence surface in this lesson. He reminds us to be adaptable, be anti-fragile, be able to - and be ready to - adjust, even improve, amid the inevitable chaos that awaits us in training, sport, and life.

Listen to the full interview here and get more pearls of wisdom from Peter:

Links and Resources

Peter's website: Life Athlete

Peter's book: Way of the Life Athlete

Email Peter:

Peter on Twitter: @lifeathlete

Shoe Dog the Nike Story by Phil Knight

Bill Bowerman and the Men of Oregon by Kenny Moore

Ken Russell

Don Reinhoudt

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