Sunday, February 21, 2010

Secrets of Success

The Ohio Center for Sports Psychology ( has deemed a high level of self-motivation and concentration to be some of the most important mental skills that contribute to success in sports. Further, Jack J. Lesyk, Ph.D. suggests that these skills can be learned and improved through instruction and practice.

Why can't these same secrets be applied to any career or life goal? Can learning to think like an athlete help you find success?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Athletes in America

The Winter Olympics have begun! Sports such as alpine skiing and short track speed skating have captured the attention of people from all over the world. Will the United States, Russia or Australia take the gold medal? These are three of the many countries that host athletes with exceptional talent. As of today, the second day of the 2010 Winter Olympics, the United States leads the way with two gold medals, while Russia comes is next with one gold medal, and Australia has not yet earned a gold medal.

Interestingly, both the Australian and Russian governments fund Olympic athletes, while the United States government does not. The Russian government will pay $50,000 for each Russian gold medal, while the Australian government actually provides a great deal of funding to Olympic athletes each year (the budget increases on Olympic years). On the contrary, the United States provides absolutely no government funding to Olympic athletes. While other countries around the world take great pride in their Olympic athletes and support their successes, the United States does not. Yet the United States is currently ahead in gold medal counts! Could it be that we are such a wealthy nation that individual support covers the needs of Olympic athletes? Or could it be that American athletes simply have access to the resources they need to be successful and compete for the sheer thrill of it?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Kaiser San Francisco Half Marathon and 5K Run

It was an awesome day in San Francisco for a half marathon! Runners seemed to enjoy their time alongside the beautiful, clear ocean view, beneath the warm sunshine. Over 10,000 runners came out for the race, which slowed us down for the first 3 miles. Eventually everyone fell into their proper places. As runners started to filter out, our pace increased to match the pace of the runners around us who were a little faster. Near mile 9, the crowd's energy inspired an even faster pace.
Awareness is key. As I became aware of how my body reacted to various external factors I could predict the points in the race where I would either need to find better placement, or speed up to counteract lost time. Do you prepare for and control changes in pace, or do you simply react to them?