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Comment - Olympic success is all in the mind, says Laura Gallagher
9:50am Thursday 9th August 2012 in Taunton
IT has already been an outstanding Olympic Games for Team GB, surpassing Beijing’s medal haul with days to spare. Writing exclusively for the County Gazette , Somerset gymnast LAURA GALLAGHER, who narrowly missed out on the squad, believes mental strength is the key to our success.
I’M not going to lie – I’ve sobbed a fair bit over the past week, and interviews with the athletes’ parents are mostly to blame.
Seeing mums and dads bursting with pride after watching their son or daughter compete in the Olympic Games just sets me off.
Years of hard work, determination and commitment condensed into one successful final competition is strangely more emotional to watch than when athletes miss out.
I watched the women’s trampoline competition last week. It was brilliant, the atmosphere was unbelievable and it was great to see a minority sport receive such attention.
Over the course of the Olympics one thing has become clear – the successful athletes are the ones who are most sure of what they want to get out of the competition, and have the ability to acknowledge and then disregard any doubts.
To win, you have to win in your mind first. After one doubt spiralled out of control I lost all my confidence and found myself unable to even get on to a trampoline at times.
I had irrational thoughts and nightmares where a move would go wrong, and these thoughts mainly ended with me seriously hurting myself.
I had to make a lot of changes to the way I thought to overcome this. Through my experience I have learned how important it is to be in control of your thoughts.
Every athlete at the Games will feel nervous and most will experience doubts and outcome anxieties – it’s normal.
The athlete who wins is the one who is able to rationalise the doubts, put perspective on the situation and make the positive thoughts even louder.