Monday, August 13, 2012

An Olympic Coaching Lesson for All of Us

I tried to watch it all, I really did, but I was just too tired.  NBC claimed they'd be showing the highlights during prime time, but they failed to note that prime time would be temporarily redefined to include late night.  I stuck with it for almost a week, but by week two, I only caught pieces of the early segments before I had to retire for the night.  

In catching up online with some of the highlights I had missed, I came across this page on the NBC Olympics site with the "Best quotes from the London Games".  They range from funny to revealing, from to hopeful to regretful. 

However, the best quote I heard during my late nights in front of the TV was not included in their list.  It came from Tim Daggett, Olympic gold medalist and gymnastics analyst during his coverage of the women's gymnastics team competition. 

As Aly Raisman was getting ready to perform her balance beam routine, Tim was filling time by sharing a conversation he once had with Aly about the pressures on her to perform, and how stressful that must be.  She replied that actually, it didn't feel like anxiety or stress for her, that she would describe it as a feeling of excitement.  Tim's reflection on this was that "I guess it's all in how you label it".

Now that's a great quote, profound actually.  It's all in how you label it.  "It" being our thoughts, our emotions, our experiences.

There were many inspiring and motivating stories to be heard over the course of the two weeks, but I would offer up Tim's insight as one that goes beyond these Olympic events and this particular athlete.  Be aware of your labels. 
  • How are you labeling the events of your life as they unfold? 
  • What names do you give to the stronger emotions you experience?
  • How aware are you of the path your thoughts travel by pure habit and your ability to choose an alternate route?
Change the label and change your perspective.  An Olympic coaching lesson for all of us.

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