Mental Training Note from an Olympian

Have you ever wondered how a Para-Olympian athlete thinks so they can over come physical challenges many people would be devastated by?

I have too and when I was on a plane recently on my way to present at a seminar in Vancouver by chance I was seated by Heinrich Popow. Heinrich is a Para-Olympian from Germany who competes as a sprinter. He finished second in the 100 m sprint in the 2008 Beijing Summer Games so he runs fast. I asked Heinrich what is the key to his success and he responded without hesitation “It is all about how I think”. He does not see the fact that he has had the lower part of his left leg removed as a reason to believe he cannot run.

In fact, Heinrich explained to me that people who have had a limb amputated and still sense the presence of the limb (sometimes called a shadow feeling) they never become successful Para-athletes since they feel limited by the lack of the limb. In contrast, Heinrich said, as a successful Para Olympian, he knows the piece of his body is gone but he is not limited by this. He believes he can do anything he sets his mind too.

Thank you, Heinrich for sharing your wisdom.

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Enjoy a wonderful day,