4 Things that all Confident Olympians Do
By now, many of you [like me] have watched hours of Olympics coverage and seen how the best athletes in the world compete. With some, you are able to have an idea of how they are going to do before the competition even starts – because they exude confidence. From Simone Biles to Michael Phelps, we see them walk out to compete and they already know [at least it appears to all of us watching] what they are going to do and how they are going to do it. All of us watching may be thinking ‘Man, I would be so nervous if I was out there right now.’ The truth is, you might be. But if you did what they do, then you may think differently.
Here are the 4 things that all CONFIDENT Olympians do
1) They Prepare – Whether it is time spent on the famous ‘Ranch’ by the U.S. Gymnastics Team, or on the sand by the Beach Volleyball Team, these performers have spent hours upon hours practicing for the challenge they are going to face. Their confidence first comes from that preparation. And it’s not just in the technical skill practice – it’s in the hours spent in the weight room, looking at film, and spending time with their Mental Conditioning Coach [aka people like me]. They walk out to the competition area and believe that they are ready.
2) Walk with Confidence – Confident people walk tall and present to everyone watching – their opponents, the judges, the people watching on television – that they are not scared of what is going to happen next. Shoulders are back, head is up, breathing is controlled. And this may not be natural for them, it is something that they are trained to do. I have told athletes before competition to ‘walk out there like you own the place, you control moment, show them all even before this event starts – walk out there like this is your show.’ That is what you see when an athlete walks out to perform – they present themselves as if they are ready to take on anything, because they are.
3) Positive Talk – Right before a competition, you don’t ever see confident athletes saying to themselves or their teammates that they are going to fail. In fact, they do the opposite. They communicate nothing but positive speech with themselves, coaches, and teammates. Confident athletes understand that speaking negatively does nothing to help their performance, in fact – they know that it hinders it. Positive language is not just good for them, but it makes those around them feel even more confident.
4) They are Focused on the Moment – Olympians have a lot going on, like most of us. But just imagine if you know you are being watched by millions of people on television, your spouse is staring at you from 200 feet away, your team is depending on you, and you don’t want to let the country down. That’s a lot of pressure to deal with – and a lot of things to potentially think about right before it’s time to compete. However, confident athletes don’t worry about any of those things that may distract them. Their focus is on the moment and what they need to do. And even more importantly, their focus is very specific. It’s on the technical aspects of their performance. They are in tune with their body and mind to know how to calm themselves down when they feel anxious, and focus on the event in front of them. It’s not the National Anthem playing if they win, not the party after, and surely not what will happen if they lose that they are worried about. They know that they have a job to do, right then, in that moment – that is their focus. And that is just another way that they gain confidence.
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