125 Days Out
We are 125 days out from the London Nike Air Max 90 Vt Pas Cher Homme 2012 Olympic Games. Athletes are pushing themselves to new limits to either qualify their spots or, if they have already, to put themselves in the best possible position for success. Training upwards of 25 hours per week and allocating 100% of your focus to facilitating the best practices, it can be tough not to succumb to the pressure of upcoming competitions. There is one piece of advice that always helps me on the road to the Games.
Your ability as an athlete is not defined by one competition. All athletes will hit some bumps on the road to reaching their goals. It is not these obstacles that shape you as an athlete but how you handle them.
A competition (at least for trampoline) comes down to 30 seconds, in which anything can happen. This is the true nature of sports and likely why people love to compete and watch sports. Yes, it is exciting and satisfying to do well at a competition (this is the obvious goal for all athletes entering a competition). But often, the most valuable lessons and experiences on the road to your goal come from the competitions where you do not excel.
One of my most valuable competitions in terms of learning and preparation for the 2011 Worlds, was not one in which I received a medal. At the 2011 World Cup in Denmark in October, my goal was to podium (place top 3) because that would leave a good impression leading into the World Championships, our Olympic qualification event. I made finals in second position. In finals, not only did I screw up my routine, I fell off the trampoline onto the floor (hitting my butt on the metal frame as I came down). I was not only sore but completely rattled and needless to say, my confidence for the upcoming Worlds and Olympic qualifier was shaken. When I returned home and started training for the next competition, Worlds, I came to the realization that either I could let this experience rattle more or I could learn from it. I realized that I had been going through the motions of the ten trick routine but was not fully aware of where I was in the air and on the trampoline for each trick. I needed to be more focused on each trick as I was doing it and not on the remaining tricks in the routine.