Playing to Win: 3 Motivational Tips from Olympians
Aug 17, 2016

Playing to Win:  3 Motivational Tips from Olympians

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Over the next two weeks athletes from around the world come together to compete in the Rio Olympics. The world will again stand in awe as the best athletes give it their all in hopes that they will make an appearance on the podium. But there are no shortcuts to the so-called Road to Rio. A successful Olympian not only trains hard but also has strong discipline to stay motivated.

In many ways, the life of an Olympian also mirrors everyday life. Anyone who wants to make a change or achieve a goal can learn a lot from those who make competition their life’s work.  Here are three things that Olympians do that help them achieve success.

1. Follow a Routine.

Well-celebrated Olympian Michael Phelps Under Armour commercial highlights the way he trains on a daily basis. Sticking to a routine is amazing for muscle memory and it helps your mind and body stay in sync in the most effective manner. The gift of a well-designed morning routine is amazing focus, and it helps your brain zero in on the task at hand.

Routines also lessen the chances of failure because your mind is trained to be able to seek out the best solution to any challenging situation. This is why all Olympians practice incessantly, day in and day out. With proper conditioning physically, you’re training your mind to relax and to be discerning when it matters.

2. Visualize winning.

Olympians know and feel victory even before it happens with visualization. This makes their mind fixated on a positive goal. As Angie Levan in Psychology Today mentions, the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow.

When you are thinking of winning, your mind goes into a state that is geared towards accomplishing fully any task at hand. Understanding the power of the mind, many elite athletes, such as Kerry Walsh, practice meditation to free the mind of stress and to get it in a state more conducive to thinking.

3.Measure your success.

Most everyone is familiar with the statement It’s the little things that make a difference and successful Olympians understand that and use it as a motivational tool.  Seeing even small improvements in their numbers as they get faster and stronger are seen as small victories along the way.  Knowing that they are improving helps to establish a positive mind-set and keeps their focus on what they are doing right rather than becoming obsessed and defeated by failures. Think of measuring success as having your own coach and cheerleader all in one, after all, it’s the little victories that make Olympians real champions.