Resilience & Focus at the Olympic Games: Sow the Seeds Early and Often

Peter Haberl, USOC, USA

Theme: Elite performance

Program ID: SYM-22

Presentation: October 5, 2013 8:15 am - 9:30 am

Room: Napoleon


Our past branding slogan "It's not every four years, it's every day" elegantly captures the need for daily training and development of mental skills on the road to the Olympic Games. Invariably, in the experience of this presenter, the Olympic Games will put the athletes to the test and determine if they indeed followed this concise piece of wisdom. From a mental skills perspective, focus and resilience are two key components that the athletes need to develop and cultivate in order to be successful at the Games. Focus and resilience are also two key components of Davidson’s (2012) model of emotional styles, each with specific brain structures, that are testable and, most importantly for a performance setting, trainable. This presentation will discuss practical efforts to “sow the seeds” of focus and resilience early and often in the non-Olympic years in order to reap a rich harvest at the time of the Olympic Games.

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