Life Lessons From Olympic Stars
Top winter athletes share their winning strategies. Use them to up your game.
Don’t miss the 2014 Sochi Olympic games beginning Feb. 6 on NBC
When it comes to accomplishing dreams, Olympians make it look so easy. But there’s a lot of work that goes into being a world-class athlete: pushing through training, learning how to stay calm under pressure and keeping confidence up—even after a major setback, such as a loss or an injury. While you may not be gearing up for the games like these women, their tactics can still help you thrive. Take their advice on how to reach your personal best.
Embrace your body
“When I’m using my body to push past boundaries, I’m thinking about it as a vehicle for learning and growth—instead of just thinking about how it looks.”
—Gretchen Bleiler, 32, snowboarder, 2006 Olympic medalist
“I play my best when I’m at a heavier weight. The more I gain, the bigger my legs and arms become. But I embrace it. It’s a mark of my training, and I am really proud of my hard work. You should never feel insecure about being muscular and fit.”
—Hilary Knight, 24, ice hockey player, 2010 Olympic medalist
“You need to build ‘treat yourself’ moments into your life—whether that’s taking a walk, watching television or even grabbing a cup of coffee. These things make you happy and provide balance in life.”
“I do focused breathing. I breathe in and hold for two seconds, breathe out for 10 seconds and repeat. It slows down the body and the mind.”
Prepare to eat great
“When you have a hectic schedule, it’s easy to make bad food choices. I plan out my meals at the beginning of each week. On Sundays I do three to four hours of prep work and then cook everything. It makes things much easier when I get home from practice because everything is all ready to go.”
Maintain your motivation
“The desire to always grow motivates me. When you get comfortable doing the same thing, you get stagnant and stuck. Life is about challenging yourself to learn and to become the best version of yourself.”
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