Lessons From Olympians … The Power of Pre-Event Routines

    Do you perform your best in the most critical moments of your life? The best Olympians do, and they succeed under the pressure that crushes those who don’t have their mental toughness. Like the great Olympians, you can learn to create an optimal mindset before engaging in your most challenging personal and professional situations, thus creating great happiness and success.

    One of the keys to being your best personally and professionally is having a pre-event routine to prepare for what is most important to you. Did you know that Kobe Bryant, basketball player and MVP of the 2009-2010 NBA finals, always does exactly the same routine before every free throw? Before a ski race, Lindsey Vonn, Olympic winner of three medals in women’s skiing in the 2010 Olympics, creates a clear image in her mind of a perfect run. Why do Olympic and professional athletes work to perfect pre-event and pre-shot routines? Because they perform better when they do. So will you.

    If a pre-event routine helps an Olympic athlete be more successful, will it help you?

    Julia had been a regional sales director at high-tech company, and after 10 years, was a solid middle of the pack producer. She wanted more, so she developed a pre-selling routine using three techniques before and during every sales call. She, 1) observed her thinking and changed any negative thoughts to positive ones; 2) only focused on what she controlled; and 3) slowed her breathing and centered herself.

    Julia became the top producer in her company and credited her pre-selling routine for her dramatic rise in sales.

    Julia joined the ranks of elite athletes and Olympians working at being technically, physically and mentally ready to be at their best in their most important endeavors, and so can you.

    There are high-performers in all fields who have learned to create an optimal mindset before engaging in their challenging and important business and personal situations. Big sales, leading meetings, speaking, interviewing for a job, conducting or receiving a performance review, and even arriving home after a hard day can all be improved with pre-event routines to create the optimal state of your mind and body.

    Want to be a great spouse, or parent? Do you have a pre-arrive at home routine? After working your tail off all day, do you have a process, a routine to help you be physically and emotionally ready to be your best with your significant other, children or extended family? Our relationships are important. Do you show up and give your family your best or do they get the wrung out, depleted, frustrated you?

    Take a moment. Think about the areas of your life that you want to be most successful in, what matters most to you. What thoughts, emotions and focus would help you be your best in these areas? Do you consciously create these before you engage in what’s most important in your life?

    Develop a pre-routine

    1. Imagine yourself, in great detail, in the situation in which you want to excel.

    2. Imagine thinking the one or two most important thoughts that focus you correctly.

    3. Imagine having the emotions and energy level that best serve you.

    4. Now, what can you do before engaging in the situation you are thinking of to create the right focusing thoughts and emotions that best serve you? This is your pre-event routine that will help you maximize your success and happiness.

    Don’t be victim to an undisciplined mind. Use pre-routines to help you take control of your thoughts, thus your emotions. The rewards of mastering control of your thoughts and emotions in the most important situations in your life -“ priceless.

    For 25 years, Dr. TC North has been a high-performance executive coach and speaker who accelerates individuals and organizations in attaining their visions and dreams. He has also mentally coached a professional sports team, Olympic teams and numerous elite, world-class athletes. Visit www.TCNorth.com, or contact him at [email protected].