As the Olympics in Rio progresses, the eyes of the world are on these amazing athletes who have dedicated themselves to their sport and dream of bringing a gold medal home.
Olympic athletes are exceptional physical specimens whose bodies are shaped by the sport they excel at. The spend hours working out and training and eat an extremely strict diet to optimise their performance. Olympic athletes eat, breath and sleep their sport all the time. Whilst we all appreciate that an Olympic athlete must be in peak physical condition to excel at their sport, the mental component, the ‘inner game’ is also highly important too. In fact, being mentally prepared is just as important as being physically prepared. What goes on in the six inches between your ears can determine if you win or lose.
Let’s look at 7 behaviours and mindset you will see in all winning Olympic athletes.
Olympians have a world-class work ethic
In the workplace, many people work just hard enough to escape being fired. Their belief system demands they be compensated for every action they take on the job. If they can be over-compensated that’s even better. Olympic athletes are driven and play to win, they motivate themselves day in day out. The only rewards they get are the ones they create themselves. They give 110%. Are you playing ‘all out’ in your training and events?
Olympians take action.
We can remedy “what ifs” simply by taking action. Action sustains our health and fitness goals. One small action taken every day compounds over time and leads to greater results.
Choose one simple thing to do every day for the next 30 days for example add 100 m further to your run each day. After 30 days you will be running 3000m further.
Olympians surround themselves with the best
We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with. Olympians surround themselves with other world class athletes. They’re isolating themselves from the masses. They know that success is contagious, and the people around them can help them grow and expand their thinking and performance. Olympic athletes build support networks to help them sustain focus through the peaks and troughs of performance. Their network helps them recover when the going gets tough and they become emotionally drained.
Olympians Challenge their limits; they create a new concept of normal.
Many people are trained to think in terms of goals. Goals are positive in that they give us structure and move us forward but the downside is that a goal can sometimes be an invisible kind of boundary or limit. It can be a target that becomes the “normal” place we’re reaching for. Keeping with “normal” can stop you from being adventurous and exploring new ground. However, changing your perspective by redefining is normal for you can free you from any self-imposed limits. One way to do this is to interrupt your normal behavior with a favorable, but extreme, change—whether in your training or food for a short period of time.
For example, reset a training boundary, for two weeks increase your training time one day a week by 50 percent. This will definitely feel challenging. Then in the third week, reduce your increased workout by 25 percent. What you will experience now is that the 25 percent reduced workout feels easier than your original long workout. You now have now created a new “normal.”
Where could you apply this is your life in the next week?
Olympians aren’t afraid to make mistakes
Mistakes are viewed as failures by most people. Olympians however see mistakes as assets, a sign of their growth and development. If they lose a race, they learn from it and take that learning to their next event. The biggest winners have made the most mistakes.
So where are you scared to fail and how is it holding you back?
Olympians have a Positive Mental Attitude
Competitive athletes can be held back more by their negative emotions than by their physical abilities. Our inner critic can hold us back if it isn’t kept under control! To succeed, they replace negative thoughts and language with more positive ones.
This can be very challenging, but give it a try. Instead of “This is too hard,” replace it with “I have all it takes to make it through.” Instead of “I don’t have the time to train,” ask “How can find time to train?”
Listen to your inner critic, what is it telling you? Replace the unhelpful chatter with words or phrase which are more supportive of your aspirations.
Olympians never give up
Most people will persist at something until it becomes uncomfortable or painful. Olympic athletes and other world class performers never give up. They are comfortable being uncomfortable. They push past the pain which they expect to feel on a regular basis. Olympic athletes usually have the mindset of doing it or die trying. The mantra they love to espouse is, “Whatever it takes.” They are masters of self-denial, suffering and sacrifice.