Lawrence Watkins: Five Things We Can Learn from Olympic Champions

by Lawrence Watkins,

This Olympics has been filled with many great stories like that of Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Serena Williams. While very inspiring, there is still so much more that we can learn from these great athletes. Olympians are the best in the world at their respective sports, something that did not happen by accident. Here are five traits many Olympians share that can teach us how to improve our daily lives.

1. They perform at their best in pressure-packed situations.

Imagine that you are in the center of an arena with thousands of people watching and they are all there to see you do what you do best. The margin of error between glory and defeat is small. You only have oneopportunity to show everyone what you’ve got. How will you deliver?

We can learn much from how champions handle these situations.

Many people believe they can easily perform under these circumstances, because they hold illusions of how they perform under pressure. But, according to many experiments by world-renowned behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, you are likely mistaken. Most people fold under intense pressure and it takes training not to do so.

With Winning in Mind is a book by Lanny Bassham that teaches athletes to perform at their peak, especially when the pressure is at its highest. As a gold medalist in the 1976 Olympics, Bassham has improved the mindsets of many other Olympians to help them attain gold as well.


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