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“I saw it and it happened” – Tips for an Olympic Mindset

Team USA has been having a big week at the Winter Olympics with several visits to the medal podium.  My 16-year-old nephew is visiting this week so we’ve been couch fans together.  When I spend time with him I can’t help but look for little teaching moments.  What can I say? It’s what I do.   

There’s much to be learned from these incredible Olympic athletes, the greatest being their champion mindset.  It got me thinking about how we can apply the elements of this mindset to the betterment of our careers and lives.  

Snowboarder Shaun White set the field this week in the Men’s Halfpipe event with a first place Shawn_white score in the first run.  He didn’t even have to do his second drop; he already had the Gold.  But he did it anyway and he raised the bar just that much higher in a sport that he helped put on the map.  When asked about his much talked about preparation in isolation, he said rather nonchalantly, “I saw it and it happened.”   

But, here’s the thing.  There’s nothing nonchalant about the mindset behind his comment.  

Lindsay Vonn said, after she won the Gold in the Women’s Downhill, “I saw the score I had to beat.”  She said that once she knew what she had to do, the focus took away the nerves.  She knew what she had to do.   

How to get the Olympic mindset?  

  • Active Visualization – paint the picture in your mind; see yourself as your accomplishing your goal and living your success.  
  • Know What You Have to Do – familiarize yourself with everything that stands between you and your goal; then devise a plan to get there.  Know the “score you have to beat” to win.  
  • Clear Out the Chatter & Clutter – by having a plan you’ll have a guideline on which to focus.  Pare things down, getting rid of anything within your sightline that has nothing to do with the goal you’re focused on.   
  • Commit Yourself – true commitment to your craft, your work, is essential on a daily basis.  This means immersing yourself in your industry, increasing your knowledge as well as your network so that you’re living and breathing your goal.   

And, to get truly inspired into the champion mindset, tune in to the Olympics! It works every time.