Gareth Marshall

The Will to Win

Both sport and the business world share a common goal – ‘the will to win’.

Business, like in sport it is going to get tough at some point and you will need to rely on your mental game to reach your goals.

The difference between a good race and a bad race is all about how you manage the (inevitable) pain.
Chris McCormack

A few years ago, I read a book by Chris McCormack – I’M HERE TO WIN. Essentially it is his playbook and reveals everything it takes to become a champion. Although the book focuses on the story of his failures, triumphs and the never-say-die dedication that has made him one of the world’s most successful triathletes, the mindset can be used for business.

Before winning the Ironman World Champion in 2007, Macca had failed six times at Kona despite winning just about every major triathlon in the world.

At the 2002 Ironman World Championships, McCormack failed to finish the race on his first attempt. In 2004, he again failed to finish again and abandoned the race. In 2005, he was able to finish 6th. The next year, in 2006, McCormack finished Hawaii in second place. 

In 2007, Macca returned to the island on a mission: He was there to win. He had spent the year developing a game plan containing a new strategic approach to winning that brought him first across the finish line – his mental game. He visualizes winning the race and every aspect that he needed to improve. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses and what was holding you back is important because you will need to work on both. By understanding both you are able to ensure you have the best strategy in place. Knowing this is what would ultimately enable him to win. 

In 2010, Macca beat the odds again and was crowned World Champion for a second time in what many called the most dramatic finish in the race’s history. Macca’s journey to athletic greatness is more than just one of physical perseverance.

McCormacks is famous for his mantra “embrace the suck”. Life, business, sport is going to get tough at some point but it’s how you endure it and the mechanisms you put in place to deal with it when it comes.      

You can do anything your mind is focused on, so stay in control. Stay focused and EMBRACE THE SUCK!!

Macca’s strategy to win:

  1. Begin with the end in mind
  2. Focus on your mental game
  3. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses
  4. EMBRACE THE SUCK!!

Just like the above worked for Chris McCormack enabling to unleash his potential and win the Ironman World Championship, the same principals applied to business will enable you to unleash your athlete mindset and achieve your business goals.


Chris “Macca” McCormack, is one of endurance sport’s most iconic athletes. Globally regarded as the best triathlete of his generation, Macca rose through the ranks as a winner and fan favorite with his trademark mix of quick wit, piercing intelligence, and the athletic ability to deliver wins in 250 international races and landing on the podium 89% of the time. Macca owns one of the best athletic winning percentage statistics in modern sport, a testament to his discipline and race day execution.

Find out more: macca.com