Posted: by Jo Wednesday, 3 August 2016 @ 09:45
OK, so I’m not going to claim I’m an Olympian! But when I trained for the London Marathon this year, I listened to several e-books by sportspeople, from endurance marathon runners, to Olympic medallists; and 5 things stuck in my mind, from what I heard:
1. ‘Hard work brings sweet rewards’
There is no substitute for dedication and training. To get better at something, you must put the hours in. There are no shortcuts, no quick fixes. It’s a good reminder in these days of instant gratification and expecting fast results. High performance in any aspect of your life or business takes hard work and perseverance.
2. ‘Anything is possible if you believe’
Or alternatively, nothing is possible without belief. You must have an absolute belief that you can do it. You are the best. You are strong enough, good enough, powerful enough, talented enough. A mindset of belief is the single most important determining factor of success in any walk of life.
3. ‘Something wonderful is about to happen’
All successful sportspeople visualise themselves winning. They run through successful outcomes in their minds, and imagine the sensation of winning, picturing it so clearly that it feels real. There is evidence that this builds neural pathways in your brain, almost tricking your brain into thinking this has already happened. It’s a great technique to apply to a goal in life.
4. The power of words
Many sports stars use a mantra or phrase to keep them focused, and to give themselves a boost when they need it. For marathon runners, this can be a reminder to ‘Start slow’, or ‘Embrace the hills’. Kerri Walsh, Olympic volleyball champion, uses ‘Breathe, believe, battle’, while Mo Farah’s mantra to keep himself going on a tough long-distance run is ‘Go hard or go home’. Tennis star Johanna Konta reminds herself to ‘stay in the present, stay calm, enjoy the battle’. It’s a great technique for daily life too. I use many different mantras, but ‘Just move’ is one I am currently using to remind myself to build more activity into my everyday life.
5. Eat sleep repeat
Rest days, proper sleep, healthy eating and good hydration: for an Olympian, their body is their tool, so it must be in the best possible condition. It is no different for any of us, in work life or leisure. Vitality, energy, creativity, resilience and resourcefulness come from a state of wellness. Investing in your body, through what you eat, how much you sleep, and how much exercise you do, is not a choice, it’s an essential.
So, let’s enjoy the Games in Rio, and then let’s also take some of that mind-set away with us, knowing that we too can set the world on fire!