PCA Presents: The Olympic Experience
Every two years the world watches as the best athletes around the world compete for gold at the summer and winter Olympics. Many coaches, parents and athletes train and dream about the possibility of becoming one of these elite few. This PCA Google+ Hangout includes panel members who have lived this dream, and here they share their Olympic experiences.
Among the topics considered, the unique pressure of the Olympics, where athletes represent their countries, perform on one of the few truly global stages for any human endeavor and in many cases have mere seconds of actual competition in which to seek the ultimate reward for their years of sacrifice.
A particular strength these elite athletes must master is mental toughness. When you are competing against athletes at this level, everyone is technically sound. In other words, it is going to take more than skill to beat an opponent. Therefore it’s vitally important for competitors at the Olympics to develop methods of self-talk, focus and a perspective on the meaning of their journey regardless of the results.
The panel also discusses what comes along with making it to this point in an athletic career. Olympic athletes are highly touted individuals who have great influence amongst youth athletes. The accomplishment is admirable and it carries a responsibility to positively influence younger generations of athletes with the same dream of success.
David Jacobson (@CoachDaveJake) (Moderator), Positive Coaching Alliance
Summer Sanders (@SummerSanders_), Olympic Gold Medalist Swimming
Peter Haberl, Senior USOC Sports Psychologist
Joan Sanders, Associate Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University
Tony Granato (@tony_granato), Assistant Coach U.S. Olympic Men’s Hockey Team