SURPRISING INSIGHT TO HOW OLYMPIANS KEEP FOCUSED ON THEIR GOAL
On the long and often arduous journey towards representing your country at the Olympic Games, how do you keep focused on making your dream a reality? I am honoured to support the UK’s Olympic campaign for Rio 2016. However, on my recent business trip to USA, I was also privileged to meet Canadian and US Olympians and find out what keeps them going – which was surprising.
It was extremely clear that years before competing on the world stage, all four Olympians knew exactly what it was that they wanted to achieve and had what I call ‘locked-on’ to their target (a vital component in goal-setting that I train my clients how to do).
Achieving this one target was the only outcome that they focused on in the hard days of training leading up to the competition. They lived and breathed it. Plus, they did various actions to make it even more real for them – and their brain, to believe that achievement of this goal was possible. Hear more about this in my forthcoming book, Your Brain is the Secret.
Of course, it takes 100% commitment, dedication and consistent practice of hard work, plus making a choice to sacrifice doing other things in order to compete at this level. As Ari Taub said “none of it has been easy.”
However, I anticipate that there will be activities in your life that you have undertaken, which you may not realise that you have applied a similar strategy for success. Most likely, because you really enjoy doing the activity, so you may not be consciously aware of just how disciplined your mindset is in performing the task.
I wrote about the Olympic mindset during London 2012 and enjoy challenging my clients to celebrate their victories. (Read: 7 Brighter Thinking Tips to help you win in the sport of life)
However, when Michelle Cameron Coulter talked about celebrating her success, it was astonishing that it wasn’t her Olympic Gold Medal that she proudly showed us, but her Improver Swimming Cup from her school days. It was this symbol of progress that had meant so much in developing her self-belief: that apart from signifying her effort, that she had also conquered her fear of water.
What have you achieved that has acted as a similar catalyst to inspire you to decide to work towards a goal?
PHOTO From left to right:
Michelle Cameron Coulter (CAN), Olympic Gold Medallist, 6 x World Champion, Synchronised Swimming
Ari Taub (CAN), Greco-Roman Wrestling, Olympian, Commonwealth Gold Medallist
Me in the middle awe-inspired holding Michelle’s gold medal (yes, it is heavy!)
Hannah Teter (USA), Olympic Gold & Silver Medallist, Snowboard Halfpipe
Maddie Bowman (USA), Olympic Gold Medallist, World Champion, Free skiing Halfpipe