I love the physical and mental challenge of the Olympics. It shows us the best and the most disciplined of humanity.
Sports psychologist, Jim Taylor, wrote an article in Psychology Today titled “Mentally Preparing for Olympic Sports Success”. One of the strategies he teaches is ‘Dance with the one who brung ya.’ Yes, bad English but it portrays an important message.
Often, when athletes are preparing for a big event, they feel the need to do something different, something special, that they need to ‘raise their game’ because the event is so important. “That is the worst thing you can do”, states Taylor.
“To the contrary, you want to keep doing exactly what you did to get there. Dancing with the one who brung ya means sticking with the fundamentals of what has worked in the past.”
Taylor suggests that athletes maintain good eating and sleeping habits. He also says they should continue their usual conditioning program, though dial it back to ensure staying rested. He said it is important to keep to the practice and competitive routines that got them prepared in the past.
The Olympic athletes that Taylor worked with identified some specific strategies that they use as their competitions at the Games near and deploy them on the day of the competition.
One of the major ones was ‘be happy’. It seems a bit cliché but just doing things that made them happy was one of the most common suggestions among the athletes. They identified particular people and experiences that generated positive emotions. Ideas included listening to music they love, watching fun movies, reading interesting books, spending time with friends and family and meeting athletes from other countries.
With all of the information and technology available, two little words that make up one simple thought can help athletes meet the mammoth challenge of the Olympics. Be happy.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are about to wrap up. As in all major sporting events, there was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
I’ve heard that winning bronze in an event is similar to being third runner up in a beauty pageant. Sure, it is a great honor. Yes, it means you accomplished more than the other pageant participants. Of course, it means you are still amazing. But will they remember your name? It is a hard reality.
The photo above is the epitome of what many of us would love to do and look like doing it. However, most of us, perhaps it is not a stretch to say not one of us, will ever get there. It is a hard reality.