The second week of the Olympics brings another week of examples of the importance of the Mental Game. Last week I discussed the “difference” of the ice for Figure Skating in Sochi. This week’s post moves to a different sport on ice, that of speed skating.
The hot topic in speed skating has been the American’s lack of success, failing to win a medal up to this point in the Olympics. A myriad of “reasons” for this lack of success have been provided. This lack of success highlights three points related to the mental game.
- Preparation is not just a physical act, but also an emotional FEELING.
There is a lot of discussion about the speed skating athletes training at high altitudes, when Sochi is a low altitude city. There is science to support training at high altitudes to aid in an athlete’s preparation, however, the athlete’s have not FELT the benefits from this training. There may be science to support this decision, but the athletes have not FELT this as being a positive.
2. Uniforms are part of an athlete’s routine and part of their confidence.
The speed skating suits have received plenty of media coverage during the Sochi Olympics. Whether the Under Armour suits are the reason for the American failures will be debated. What cannot be debated is the feeling that an athlete achieves from their routine and putting their uniform on. These athletes have never used these suits prior to the Olympics, thus it is impossible for an athlete to FEEL confident in something they are wearing for the first time.
3. Confidence = Belief.
Preparations and routines allow athletes to walk and carry themselves with confidence and confidence equals BELIEF. Confidence is how we carry ourselves, a speed skater should see themselves slipping on suit of ARMOR, not because it says Under Armour, but because they are heading into a battle with themselves, to do the best they can to reach their potential.
Until next week, slip on your suit of ARMOR and FIGHT.
“Confidence is the emotional knowing that you are prepared, mind, body, and spirit, for anything. Confidence is knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.”
– – Gary Mack