Virginia Thrasher shows the profound value of an Olympic Mindset. She won the first gold for the United States in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I picked up on this not because she won the first gold of the games for us, not because she’s a teen who went up against competitors twice her age, but because of something a bit more interesting.
Virginia has an inspiring mindset that enabled her to win the gold and I believe it’s something that will serve her throughout her life. I want some of that. So I decided to study just what that special mindset is that has helped her to overcome competition from 50 countries around the world to emerge as the number one air gun shooter in this year’s Olympic Games.
I’ll use her own words after the competition.
“What’s most attractive about rifle is the mental side of the sport. Anyone can go and hit a ten. It’s not that hard. To shoot a ten, after ten, after ten in a big event is very hard. You have to have a mastery of the mental side, controlling your emotions, following your process, and not thinking about the outcome.”
The Profound Value of an Olympic Mindset
That is one of the most profound things I’ve heard about mindset. She talks about the process and not the outcome. I love that. She talks about controlling your emotions. The part that stood out the most to me was when she said it’s easy to hit a ten but it’s hard to hit several of them in a row at a major competition. Her secret to mastering the mental side of things is to:
- Control her emotions
- Follow the process
- Ignore the outcome during the competition.
Those three steps seem fairly simple. But in practice, when the stakes are high, it must be an almost insurmountable task. I’m in competition daily, it seems, with myself, with my emotions, with the desire to just lay down in bed and not get up, to find any way to escape surroundings that aren’t ideal. Some of us look to relieve pain in ways that provide temporary relief but end in an enduring pain exponentially more detrimental than the original hurt we were trying to escape.
During those moments, I’ll think about Virginia Thrasher and look for ways to control my emotions, follow the process, and ignore thinking about the outcome. I do these things but I need a system to do them regularly. I know it exists. I do it every day. I just have to continue to pay attention.
Virginia Thrasher – 3-part process
Michael Phelps – stayed focused
Keri Strug – pushed on
The Long Game – even when someone wins, that doesn’t necessarily make them a winner. When someone loses, that doesn’t make them a loser. I’ve seen losers win gold medals. It really is how you play the game, that creates long-term success.
This week’s music is provided by The Passion HiFi. The name of the track is “Hit Em Hard.” Find out more at SoundCloud.com.