While many of us may already know these things, it never hurts to receive real validation from the experts. Since some of us are still flying high on the enthusiasm from this year’s Olympics in Rio, we thought it would be inspiring to hear how these incredible athletes manage to “bring it” on a daily basis. Without further ado, this is what they have to say:
ON MINDSET: Whether it’s meditating, finding purpose or confidence, or having a good ol’ fashioned giggle, these athletes program their minds before pushing hard.
Carli Lloyd (USA Soccer) has said: “It sounds pretty funny, but over the years and definitely over the last four years, I’ve taken that visualization part to another level. I’ve basically visualized so many different things on the field, making these big plays, scoring goals.”
Manteo Mitchell (USA 400 Meter Runner) has said: “I’ve found that having a purpose behind your running/training tends to increase your performance.”
Aly Raisman (USA Gymnastics) has said: “Simone [Biles] and I always tease each other and give each other a hard time. But that just shows how close we are. When we’re training, she’s super hyper and I’m a little bit more mellow and more serious. She keeps me giggling, because I get a little bit more stressed out. And I think I keep her a little bit more mellow and a little bit more relaxed.”
Claressa Shields (USA Boxing) has said: “I’m humble and I’m confident. I think those words kind of contradict themselves because people always confuse ‘confident’ with the word ‘cocky.’ Confident is believing in yourself. Being humble is, even though you believe in yourself and you know what you’re capable of, you still work 10 times harder than your opponent to make sure you get the output you want. I train very hard to be able to say that I’m going to be a two-time Olympic gold medalist.”
ON REST: Workout schedules and fitness regimes can monopolize your focus when recovery requires the same amount of attention.
Usain Bolt (Jamaica Runner) has said: “Sleep is extremely important to me – I need to rest and recover in order for the training I do to be absorbed by my body.”
Gaby Douglas (USA Gymnast) has said: “I curl up in my bed to meditate, which helps me learn to clear my mind and puts me in a good place spiritually. With my mind clear, it becomes easy for me to sleep.”
Madison Hughes (USA Rugby) has said: “I had always been someone who stays up late and then wakes up late, but over a course of a few days you start finding yourself drowsy, tired and ineffective. It is all about being disciplined now.”
Phil Dalhausser (USA Beach Volleyball) has said: “On a bad night’s sleep, my brain feels foggy. So I just take a nap if I didn’t sleep well the night before.”
ON NUTRITION: The fuel that powers these athletes’ bodies is of great importance. So, how do they do that?
Zoe Lombard (USA Handball) has said: “Smoothies are a refreshing way to add a lot of fruits and vegetables to your day! It is also a lot of fun to experiment with new fruits and veggies to find your perfect combination.”
Mo Farah (Great Britain Runner) has said: “I’m not really a big eater of large meals—more several small little plates during the day.”
Kerri Walsh (USA Beach Volleyball) has said: “I make sure I have a good breakfast,” says Walsh. “Without it, I’d be in trouble.”
Novak Djokovic (Serbia Tennis) has said: “After a little stretching or some light calisthenics, I’m ready for breakfast. Most days I have what I call the Power Bowl, a normal-sized bowl I fill with a mixture of: Gluten-free muesli or oatmeal, handful of mixed nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts), some sunflower or pumpkin seeds, fruits (sliced up in the bowl, like banana and all kinds of berries), a small scoop of coconut oil (I like it for the electrolytes and minerals), and rice milk, almond milk or coconut water.”