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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TFC005: The Pursuit of Success with Jessica Sell

Thank you for joining the Champion forum podcast with Jeff Hancher! With the upcoming finals of the NCAA College Basketball tournament, Jeff took the time to sit down with former Division 1 Athlete Jessica Sell. Jessica played for UNC-Chapel Hill from 2002-2006, where she played in two NCAA final-four matchups.

In this episode, Jessica shares about what it took to become a D1 athlete and what her dedication to basketball taught her about success. From practicing when no one else was watching in her elementary school gym to pressing through illness, injury, and insecurity at UNC, Jessica’s experience offers great insight on the benefits of pressure and the perspective you need to become a champion.

The Benefits of Pressure

Pressure forces you to put in the work, even when no one else is looking. When you want to be the one facing the pressure of a game-changing play or decision, you put yourself a place where you are forced to put in the work, even when no one else is looking. As you put in the work, you begin to gain confidence in your abilities. You prove that of all the people on the court, or all the people on the team, you deserve to be the one making that decision.

Champions Separate Themselves from Distractions

  1. Distractions threaten to separate you from your purpose and goals.

  2. Distractions keep you from giving your all to your goals and can slow or stop your progress.

  3. Removing distractions protects your self-confidence.

Becoming the Best

“If you lick the lollipop of mediocrity, you suck forever.” You can never let yourself be the smartest person in the room or the best player on the court. Look for opportunities to challenge yourself and get into situations where you are the least knowledgable person in the room or the least skilled person on the court. Challenging yourself can be uncomfortable, but it is the best thing you can do to improve yourself and move closer toward your goals.

Check your attitude when you feel challenged. Whether the conditions around you are favorable or unfavorable, you have control over your own attitude and the way that you handle yourself in adverse situations speaks volumes of your character. When you keep a positive attitude, accept criticism, and work hard, you will set yourself up for success both in the present and for years to come. The most important person to lead first is yourself. You must be able to lead yourself before you can lead anyone else.

The Sell Cycle of Success:

To be successful, you need to have three things:

  1. You have to have a mentor who has been there done that.

  2. You have to have somebody on your level because there is accountability there.

  3. You have to have someone you are pouring into.

And as long as that cycle is in constant motion, you continue to find more mentors, peers, and mentees, you can trust that you are moving in a positive direction toward your goals.

Your dream requires you to put in continuous effort starting today. To be successful, you need to lead yourself by guarding your attitude and your self-confidence. By leading yourself first, you become the kind of person that attracts success and you earn the trust and confidence of those around you. Have patient endurance and dig in!


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