In this entry of the Olympic Preparation Series we will address the need to trust yourself in the likely-unfamiliar environment and circumstances of the Olympics. If you are the type of athlete who performs at your best when you hear things like “This is the only moment that counts. Everything brought you here. This is the most important moment of your life,” then these are the things that you need to continue to tell yourself — put that pressure on and thrive in the immensity of the situation. On the other hand, if you would become overwhelmed and anxious with such statements and acknowledgements, it would be better to think of what serves you best. Some athletes perform best thinking “This is no different than what you have been doing all season/year. Just stay grounded in the moment and remain calm. Keep your awareness around yourself and don’t let in the distractions.” Regardless of what particular self-talk and routine you use, trust yourself and rely on what has been successful to get you to the Olympic Games.
Every athlete is different, and knowing yourself and how to trust yourself will pay dividends when you really need it. Some athletes make the error of “adding something” or “doing more” because of the immensity of the Olympic Games. Whether it is extra time spent in physical preparation, changes to a routine, or lapses in mental control, the variability is more likely to detract from your performance than bolster it.
Remaining true to what got you to this pinnacle level of competition will also help you to navigate and shine in it. There will be inevitable differences to the demands placed upon you because it is the Olympic Games. However, the differences will not impact your performance as significantly if you are able to accept that while this is different from what you have faced (how could it not be), you absolutely belong in the competition and can trust yourself to perform at the best of your ability.
- The Olympic Games will present new challenges
- Your success got you to the Games
- Trusting yourself and your abilities will support your success