Olympians and Mental Toughness
What’s the mindset of an Olympic champion? If you could see through the eyes of an Olympian, you could gain valuable insight as to what mental game attributes are considered essential for championship performance. Even though Olympians must have mental toughness, it’s not inborn, but instead developed over time. Mental toughness and mental skills separate Olympians from their peers and vaulted them to the most elite athletic stage.
Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, 40-years-old, has the mental make-up of a champion. Bjoerndalen became the oldest Winter Olympic champion in an individual event winning the gold medal in the 10-kilometer Biathalon sprint event in Sochi. Bjoerndalen equaled the record for Winter Olympic medals when he won the sprint event as he earned his 12th medal. The victory earned Bjoerndalen his seventh Olympic gold to add to his four silver medals and one bronze.
Bjoerndalen, known as the “Biathlon King” in Norway, is nicknamed “Cannibal” due to his hunger for success. Bjoerndalen made his Olympic debut in 1994 though he did not medal in his events. Since those Games, Bjoerndalen has consistently displayed the mindset of a Champion.
Bjoerndalen’s mentality can be summed up by his sporting philosophy outlined in his Sochi 2014 athlete bio, “grit your teeth and get the best out of yourself.”
At one point during his career, Bjoerndalen worked with a Psychology Coach to help him develop his mental skills and the mindset of a champion. It is Bjoerndalen’s mentality that has led him to be one of the greatest winter Olympians of all-time. Bjoerndalen is an innovator in his sport as his one-breath cadence between shots has cut shooting times in half.
Bjoerndalen: The Mind of an Olympic Champion
- Preparation – Bjoerndalen has committed to the highest level of preparation living at high elevations in Austria and Italy instead of his homeland Norway to prepare for the altitude at the Sochi biathlon venue, “I am in super form. I prepared well for this and I am feeling strong.”
- Perseverance – Despite a back injury, a divorce and competition from younger Norwegian biathletes, Bjoerndalen responded positively and regained his status as Norway’s No. 2 biathlete.
- Passion – Bjoerndalen enjoys his sport despite the years of dedicated hard work, “You want to be the best in your sport. This sport has never been a job for me… always a hobby. I want to create my sport, always. So, yeah, I do like my sport.”
- Performing – Bjoerndalen’s success is not merely in his athletic skills but his ability to adjust on the fly without negatively evaluating his performance. In Sochi, despite missing a shot in the standing shooting and having to ski a 150-meter penalty loop, Bjoerndalen forged forward to win the gold medal, “It was a huge mistake at the shooting. I decided to shoot faster afterward as I knew I would still have a chance to win it.”
Do you have the mindset of an Olympian? Can you improve your mental toughness and would doing so elevate your performance or make you a more consistent? Engaging in mental coaching may be the training you need to push you to the next level.
Start your mental training and develop the mind of a champion!
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~Julia Dreyer, National Champion Equestrian
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D you have a negative self-image of yourself as an athlete that stifles confidence?
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“I first purchased The Confident Athlete to see how the program went and immediately saw results. I then purchased the rest of the confident athlete series and have noticed a dramatic improvement in my level of play or should I say consistency. I currently play NCAA Division 1 baseball for Lamar University, and even my coaches have noticed a change in the way that I approach the game. My attitude and confidence at the plate.”
~Tylor Prudhomme (Listen to his success story)
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~Shaun Burrell, Professional Surfer (Listen to his success story)
For Young Athletes and Parents – Learn More About How to Help Kids Improve Confidence Quickly!
We’ve got a great program for you called “The Confident Sports Kid: A 7-Day Plan for Building Ultimate Self-Confidence.”
The Confident Sports Kid is a 7-day program for sports parents and kids to boost young athlete’s performance, happiness and success… in sports and life!
The Confident Sports Kid is two programs in one. There’s a manual and CD for parents/coaches, and a workbook/CD for young athletes.
Packed with mental strategies that you and your kids can start using immediately, this program teaches your athletes how to identify confidence busters, proactively deal with them, manage expectations that undermine confidence, and mentally prepare to stay confident when faced with adversity.
What’s more, our program teaches you, as sports parents and coaches, how you may be hurting your kids’ confidence and gives you instructions for changing your behavior in ways that will improve your athletes’ performance, confidence and enjoyment.
Learn more about one of our most popular CD programs in The Confident Sports Kid Series…
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“I appreciate the advice to parents as to how to help your child become more mentally resilient to bullying in sports. The specific advice and scenarios are extremely helpful for any child on a team and very helpful in guiding parents, coaches and administrators in how to deal with bullying in sports. I cannot thank you enough for your input, and I am so reassured to know that there are people like you who are writing articles and doing interviews on such timely and important matters.”
“Dr. Patrick Cohn and Lisa Cohn are to be congratulated! Together, they offer a wealth of knowledge, information, and practical mental tools for sports parents on the substantial “mental game” challenges and pressures facing today’s young athletes.”
~Marc D. Anderson, LCSW, MGCP, Mental Game Coach
For Mental Coaches – Add More Value To Your Mental Training Programs!
This workbook series was designed for coaches and mental coaches to use with their athletes.
The Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks complement your existing mental training program. Each of the 15 workbooks in the Athlete’s Mental Edge System teaches your athletes a specific mental skill to improve their performance.
For mental coaches, this system is ideal for between session education.
For sports coaches, you’ll be able to conduct 15 team seminars using the workbook system.
In the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbook system, you receive 15 easy-to-read, practical Mental Edge Workbooks on PDF, as well as 16 coaches’ game plan MP3 audio files.
What are coaches saying?
“I am really pleased with the Athlete’s Mental Edge workbooks – they are fitting in really well with my coaching! I find they offer a great framework for doing workshop sessions. I have also used the workbooks with a few individual athletes – for the younger ones (12 and under). They are giving a good structure and framework to our sessions. The workbooks have worked well with all of them!”
~Kerri Morgan, Mental Game Coach
“I am impressed with the willingness and openness of Dr. Cohn to share all of his assets (intellectual, products, etc.) with the MGCP students. You have developed an incredible model/package for mental training. Even though we are paying for your service, you are passing on a legacy built on your contribution to the world of sports. Thank you for that.”
~Tony Melito, MGCP