How to think like an Olympian…

Woman running through the finish line

What do Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis Hill, Laura Trott and Greg Rutherford have in common?

OlympicsYou’re probably thinking gold medals, Super Saturday, Olympics – all of these are true, so let’s add another name. Emma Pooley. She has yet to win a Gold medal, nor was she part of Super Saturday, but she is competing in the Rio Olympics 2016.

Now what have they all got in common?

On show over the coming weeks we will be able to watch sports men and women competing at their peak, giving the performances of their lives, who have trained relentlessly chasing their dreams. This is their moment, this is Rio 2016.

Some of us might feel inspired to be more active, to get fitter, and even aspire to compete.  Others will be happy to watch, wishing them well and develop a passion for a sport they have yet to learn the name of.  Just like me during London 2012. Did I ever really understand the Omnium or Keirin cycling events? But that didn’t stop me screaming encouragement at the TV in the sure knowledge that the louder I shouted the more likely a GB cyclist would win!

We don’t have to be sporty to learn something from the Olympians. Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis Hill, Greg Ruthorford, Emma Pooley and all the other competitors have these things in common.

Clarity. They know exactly what their dream is, what their goal is, what they want to achieve.

Focus. Their laser-like focus is purely on achieving their goal, their dreams, their Gold.

Vision. They repeatedly visualise in great technicoloured detail achieving their goal whether it’s a race, a jump or a dive.

Planning. Athletes have a training schedule that prepares them to reach the peak of their fitness and ability at a specific time.

Action. Every day they do something towards achieving their goal.

Discipline. As they train and practise they don’t allow themselves to be distracted.

Balance. All areas of their life need to be aligned to achieve their goal, so they make choices – such as what they eat, when to rest, and how much time is spent with family and friends.

Now I am not suggesting that everyone can be an Olympic medal winner, although if that’s your dream go for it. But we can all achieve our own Gold medals by following the Olympians’ lead.

Taking time to consider what our dreams are, getting clarity, breaking them down in to bite-sized blocks and knowing our mini goals helps us to focus on them.

Remember to visualise achieving the goal in great detail, increasing your motivation and belief in achieving it.  It helps to have a plan, to know what action you’re going to take and when.  Anyone who has trained for a 5k run or a marathon knows this, but it’s equally as true if you’re going to learn a new language, lose weight or change careers.

It helps us to be disciplined, to keep on track, to keep going when it gets more difficult, when we can easily be distracted. Olympians all have a support team around them. Who are your support team? It may be family, friends, colleagues or a coach.

So, in this next few weeks, when I am watching Team GB competing at the Rio Olympics, I will also be visualising achieving my own goals and taking action towards achieving them.  For me, this includes continuing to develop my coaching business, also to keep a promise, to make a pudding once a month – think I’ll be going back to old-school puddings for that one – and to swim twice a week.

I will be visualising racing up and down the pool early in the morning, before going home, energised and ready for the coaching session over Skype with a new client, while the aroma of the rice pudding I’m baking in the oven is drifting round the house.  My support team will be happy with that.

If you come down to the pool one morning, you just might see me as I put my plan in to action.

I hope that you’re inspired by the Olympics to be proactive in your own life. Who knew watching sport on TV could be so beneficial… now I’m off to catch up on the canoeing.

Choose now to be the Olympian you’ve always wanted to be.


Anne Goodridge

About Anne Goodridge

I am a life coach, working with people to reconnect with their dreams and then to become dream achievers. Following traumatic events in my personal life and experiencing work-related stress, I spent some time walking the Camino De Santiago, a 500-mile old pilgrim walk. For me this was life changing. I am now passionate about people overcoming the stress of their daily lives whether it be work related or personal, so they can live the life they want. I am fortunate to live in the beautiful Peak District and am inspired by the environment around me. Find out more at my website or contact me through Linkedin.