The performance of an Olympic athlete provokes a reaction of awe and amazement. These athletes are inspiring due to their commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of a goal. They are so incredibly rare in their excellence. Yet, it is possible for us to learn from them. Specifically, watching for ways to apply basic habits and skills.
Firstly, fear must be absent in order for an athlete to reach victory and win the battle against one’s self. All feelings of self doubt, or, fear of failure must be left behind. An athlete can only master a learned effortlessness when performing after having committed to countless hours of rigorous training. But it makes it all clearly worth it knowing you’ve given your best. The athlete must fully trust their ability and that they have learned mastery over their body and mind in getting to this point. The moment the gun goes off the athlete is poised so that time seems to slow down and everything happens in slow motion. They take on a sharp, narrow focus on the task itself. Everything else fades away. At this moment, the athlete is in his/her peak performance state (Gregory Haff, 2016).
What can we learn from Olympians? Firstly, persevere with your fitness and healthy lifestyle goals even if you do not see dramatic results right away. Every worthwhile goal will face roadblocks. Our progress can plateau, for example we can be busy, tired etc. When doubt creeps in, we temporarily lose hope and feel that we won’t be successful. Adopting a resilient mental fortitude to persevere through excuses, doubts, struggles and obstacles is what separates the people who are able to make long term changes in their life from those who cannot. Secondarily, don’t be overly attached to the results, we want to learn to find fulfillment and embrace the process of exercising. If an exerciser spends too much time thinking about the results then the process of exercising will become nothing more then a necessary burden to achieving an end result, rather than being something meaningful and exciting. If you find fulfillment in the process then you are more likely to stick with it in the long term and make lasting changes in you life. Lastly, leave all your worries and troubles at home when engaged in your workouts. Use exercises to de-stress and leave your worries and struggles behind. When you are in the zone of exercise, give it everything you have and your body will thank you for it afterwards. No matter what happens you looks back with no regrets knowing you gave it your all! This will allow you to be fully focused, ready and hungry to perform without worrying what the outcome will be. You want to make the most out of every moment you spend achieving your goals. Don’t waste your energy focusing on how others view you or your performance. Don’t hold back! Do it! If you give it a shot, your self-esteem will only soar.
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Gregory Haff, T. T. (2016). Essentials of Strength & Conditioning Training. Windsor: Human Kinetics.
By: Thomas Stuglik