On the first day of the IAAF World Track and Field Championships in London, England, Team USA's (the former World 1,500m Champion and 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist) qualified for the semi-finals of the Women's 1,500m - but it was not as easy as she hoped it would be.
With the first six athletes obtaining automatic qualifying spots to the semi-finals, the race involve lots of pushing, shoving, and in the last 120m, what should have been an easy run to the final ended up being a dead sprint for one of the last qualifying spots. After learning she had advanced to the finals, Simpson, in a post-race interview, discussed her thoughts on the race and how important a role preparation plays in her success:
"This is where experience matters. You study film on everyone in the race and learn their tendencies, and you hope that the preparation you do pays off - it did today. I think because of all that I have done leading up to this meet that if I can be there with 100m to go, I'm going to be pretty hard to stop"
What should this teach us about the importance of being prepared?
First: Even the best spend time preparing. They may be talented, but being great does not come naturally. It takes time and dedication to become one of the best at anything. So before you think you have it all figured out, realize that you don't and go do more work.
Second: The more that you prepare, the more you will believe in yourself. If confidence comes from how you talk to yourself based on the work that you have done, then if you put in the right work (remember - it's not just that you are doing something its HOW you do it) you're going to have the opportunity to be successful that you are looking for.
Third: Preparation means little without awareness. You need to be able to recall situations that you spent time studying, understand the current situation that you are (and will be) in , and have the awareness of when is the right time to take a calculated risk. You can learn more about how to become more aware in last weeks article: Five Ways to Become Self-Aware.
We will be reporting on the mental side of the IAAF World Championships each day for the next week - and we would love to have you follow us! Check us out for daily updates on Instagram / Twitter / Facebook