Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Sampler from Vancouver

We have been enjoying the competition from the Winter Olympics in Vancouver these past two weeks. Watching the best in any field come together testing their courage and confidence is always a treat. We especially take note during the interviews of the self talk of these athletes. You'll remember a while back we noted that when you hang out with champions you can learn a lot listening to how they talk. It was then suggested that you keep a sharp ear for how you talk about yourself and your performances as you go through your day.

The following are excerpts from some US medalists. If we lived in Germany or South Korea we would have more quotes of a similar nature from German or South Korean athletes.

Evan Lysacek - figure skater
"It was definitely my best, and that is what I came here to do. Of course you know it's been tough the last couple of months not thinking about the results, but I've had to shove all those thoughts out of my head, and my thought process was just mind your own business. I wrote that on a little card when I got here and taped it up in my room: Mind you own business, worry about what I have to do and what my job is, and the truth of the matter is that mission was accomplished here."

Julia Mancuso - alpine skier
"My coach kept saying, 'You've got to just keep doing it, just keep going on,' no matter how frustrated I got in all the fall races...but my training has been really good and I proved today I could do it."

Bode Miller - alpine skier
"At our level it's more about self-discovery." As for the Olympics, he added, it's not about obsessing over medals - and certainly not about obsessing over other people obsessing about your winning medals. "It's about digging deeper and finding inspiration...having fun, about skiing like I did when I was a kid." More from Miller - "I've never had too many confidence issues in my skiing. But to execute on a day like today, and the way I executed, the way I've skied, is something I'll be proud of for the rest of my life. I've put down absolutely wide open runs before - I could have skied better today - but I skied with 100 percent heart and I didn't hold anything back."

Whenever top performers are interviewed you will most usually see similar self-talk. Take a moment over the next couple of days to monitor what you say to yourself (and others) as the events in your world unfold.

Have a great week in the pool...we know we will!

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