Sunday, March 05, 2006

Olympic Athletes and Emotional Shape

I don't know about you, but I watched the Winter Olympics and learned a lot from the athletes about how to be a winner. And the lessons I learned translates to being a winner in "life", not in just in a particular sport! These athletes are the best in the world, they come to the Winter Olympics to compete for the Gold Medal and for the fun and thrill of their sport.

There is no doubt that these athletes are in great physical shape, but one thing that I noticed that played into the results of who won or not was also the other type of shape ... "emotional and mental" shape.

Did you see Sasha Cohen's face and eyes before she skated her long program? There was a "doubt" in her eyes... a worried look, a lack of confidence that she could do this. Even the commentators said something about her eyes. Yes, she got the silver medal (which I think she was even surprised at) -- but if her eyes looked like they did before her short program (confident, ready, determined) -- I think she would have won the Gold! Now, I am not picking on Sasha Cohen - -she's a fantastic skater ... I am just making a point on the POWER OF OUR MINDS and how important it is to focus on the positive outcomes and leave "worry" in the dust!
And by the way, you could also see the same doubt in the Russian skater (before the long program) who was the favorite to win the Gold. She just didn't seem confident. She looked concerned before she skated. She even was shaking her head (as if to say no) a few times before that program. Just based on her actions prior to her long program, I was able to predict that she wasn't going to do as well as her first program.

Let's take another example from the Olympics ... one of the couples from China in the figure skating. The guy went to throw his partner into the air and she fell hard on the ice hitting both her knees (each time they showed the replay of that ... I cringed, feeling her pain). They stopped skating and looked like they were done ... afterall, she was in a lot of pain, how was she going to continue skating her long program? But all of sudden, she decides she is going to continue --- she gets back on the ice, starts off with her partner where she left off AND that couple ends up getting a medal! Unbelievable! What was in her head? Was she focused on falling again? Was she focused on failing? NO... I don't think so. She came to the Olympics to compete and skate and she was determined to finish what she came for. Her will, her determination and her MIND SET was what got her to complete that program and ultimately win a medal!!! She left all the worry and fear in the dust. Amazing! How many people do you know that would get up after a bad fall like that and continue on as if nothing happened? I don't know many people like that! But that's what sets apart the "winners".

Then there is Bode Miller... first of all, I think there was too much hype around him. All the hype built him up to be somebody who was going to win multiple Golds! But did he? No. I think is Mind Set was just not in the right place. Now, this is just my opinion but I really do think that there is a lot more to winning these games then just qualifying to get there. There is a certain Mind Set you must be in in order to compete at your best and take home a medal. I just don't think that was there for Bode Miller. Do you agree?

This brings me to another point about the power of our thoughts. I noticed that there were some athletes that won the Gold, that were not expected to win the Gold ... these athletes were not the "favorites" ... but they came out of nowhere and took the Gold ... how is this possible? Well, that's simple ... they came to the games to compete their best game they ever had; there was no pressure on them to win ... they just went to have fun, doing what they love and give it all they got!!! There is something to be said about "letting go of the outcome" and tapping into your passion and just going for it! (putting no pressure on yourself that you "have to" win)

Yes, I learned all of this from the Olympic Athletes. If there is one thing that you can take away from this is that "YOUR MIND IS A VERY POWERFUL TOOL" -- it plays a part in how much you feel you are winning at this life that you only get one shot at! Use your mind wisely. Focus on the positive outcome, but at the same time "let go" of the outcome. Tap into your passion. Leave all the worry and concern in the garbage can --- 'cause that's where it belongs!

Warmest Regards,
Maria C. Lesetz,
Lovin' Life
Motivational Speaker & Certified Life Coach for Doctors
Statistical Consultant
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