The Olympics are in full swing and athletes in the prime of their physical prowess are everywhere we look. We are informed about their training regimens, what and how much they eat, to whom they attribute their success and if they will be back in four years. I am pretty athletic, (nothing even close to that level obviously) and while that information is interesting, it isn’t applicable to my life. However, the one thing that many of us can use is an understanding of the mental preparedness it takes to be a top performer. That information can be applied to becoming a champion in any activity.
With that in mind, this is the perfect time to discuss how the lessons from sport psychology can be applied for business success:
Motivation – You never hear an Olympian say they got there by accident. There is always an untold amount of training that goes on when there are no cameras, no one is looking and no one cares. The same is true of corporate success. You have to find the internal motivation that will continuously drive you forward, particularly when no one is watching.
Coaching – It is impossible to evaluate and perform at the same time. Having a great coach gives athletes the ability to perform and have someone else pick out and tweak the areas where they can make adjustments to get better. The same is true in business. You simply can’t see things from every angle or be an expert in everything. If you are un-coachable you are shunning success.
Positive Rivalries – Usain Bolt (Gold – Men’s 100m) and Yohan Blake (Silver – Men’s 100m) are training partners. No one is going to push you like your nearest competitor. Don’t shun them. Watch, listen, learn and use the rivalry to keep you on the top of your game.
Team Alignment – There is nothing more amazing than great team cohesion. When all the members are on the same page, know their roles and execute them flawlessly. May-Walsh, the beach volleyball team looking to be three-peat gold medalists enlisted a sport psychologist. If a team that has been together for more than a decade and won as many titles as they have can benefit from communication and conflict resolution, I am betting you can too.
Resilience – Injuries, setbacks and mistakes happen. Four years ago in Beijing Sanya Richards-Ross came out too fast in the Women’s 400 and faded to bronze in the stretch. In London she proved she learned from that mistake. Her race was a study in patience. She didn’t allow her completion to influence her pace and came away with the gold. Similarly, business success requires knowing how to learn from and move past mistakes.
I trust that you are enjoying the amazing displays we get to see during the Olympics. Keep in mind, every one of those athletes is an individual just like you. They have taken a talent, honed it to perfection and performed when called upon to do so. You have the ability to do the same thing in your field of expertise. The choice is yours.
Dr. Robyn Odegaard’s doctorate is in psychology with a concentration in performance and sport. She is the CEO of the speaking/consulting company Champion Performance Development, the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the book ‘Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams’. She specializes in combining executive coaching with sport psychology to show individuals and teams how to achieve the most from their potential. You can invite her to give one of her funny, influential and insightful presentations and inquire about her consulting services at www.ChampPerformance.com and order her book from www.StopTheDramaNow.com
Tags :business psychology, Champion Performance Development, Doc Robyn, executive coaching, Kerry Walsh, May-Walsh, Misty May, Olympians, Olympics, Robyn Odegaard, Sanya Richards-Ross, sport psychology, Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake