How to Succeed With Olympians’ Winning Ways

Succeed Like An Olympian

Musicians are athletes in lots of ways.

We train endlessly for a few important competitions or we might play what we love, just for fun, and it all comes down to enjoyment and fair play.

The Olympians are living their dreams and it’s no wonder– with the right mindset, healthy habits, and such willpower, they deserve it.

Here’s what you can learn from the Olympians, because their winning ways and inspiring stories will help you in music too.

Dream Big and “Go Big”

Ryan Lochte

“My senior year of high school, when I was getting recruited for college, my dad goes to me, ‘You can become an Olympic champion.’ And that’s the first time that I’d heard someone else say that to me. I was like, ‘Uh, are you talking to me?'”

— Ryan Lochte

Lochte’s always been a goof in the pool, until he realized that he does have what it takes to win the Olympics. Fast forward a couple years, team USA is decorated with medals in Beijing, but Lockte is overshadowed by his team mate, Phelps.

But Lochte won’t give up. He trains hard, and now he can compete with Phelps (Lochte’s own words).

Ironically,  Phelps’s desire to dominate above all, namely Lochte, brings Phelps back to training from two years of relaxation.

Lochte proves that if you set a big goal and stick it out to the end, it’ll work out for you.

When Lochte hangs up his Speedos, he plans on hitting the runway. From pool to runway, his attitude will bring him success.

To Succeed: Set a goal about something you believe in and go big when the time comes for you. Work hard but don’t stop loving what you do.

Be Prepared to Hurt

Yao JinnanYao Jinnan is the Chinese artistic gymnastic team’s youngest and most valuable member because she’s consistent on all the apparatus.

If you look at her action shots, you’ll see that she’s always wrapped up in one spot or another (in this case, it’s her foot).

She injures herself over and over again, and at one point, she has to crawl off the vault mat.

She fights the physical and emotional pain, giving it everything she’s got, despite the fact that the team has two extras ready to go (admittedly, they probably won’t be better than an injured Yao Jinnan, but pain is pain).

I have first-hand experience in gymnastics injuries, and I can tell you that even a small fall hurts immensely– my toenails still aren’t back to ‘perfect’.

To Succeed: Don’t give up at the slight prospect of failure. You’ll get stuck. Know that it’ll all work out in the end. After all, you’re learning from every mistake you make.

Even Artiden started with 0 readers; we’ve come a long way, but we still have our challenges and I’m not giving up.

Age is…

Chusovitina Oksana

Wait, is it too late for you?

Oksana Chusovitina (pictured), representing Germany in artistic gymnastics, is 37. The average gymnast retires at about 18.

But Chusovitina’s still strong and flexible as ever, surviving 6 Olympic competitions without sustaining permanent injuries, remaining one of the stronger gymnasts on her team.

She’ll be retiring as a gymnast and coaching after London 2012.

There was a Chinese gymnastics team scandal in 2008 where records revealed that the team’s members were 14 years old, two years under the age restriction.

So government provided valid passports verifying that they were 14; these doll-like girls would be 20 now.

Nonetheless, these girls appear to be quite young yet are not intimidated by the competition (despite their apparent ages, which is quite ‘old’ indeed, according to gymnastics standards).

To Succeed: Don’t let age get in the way of your journey. Just do what you need to do.

Get Creative

Olympians are incredibly creative about funding their way to the Olympics.

Nick Symmonds, American half-miler, auctioned off his skin as a temporary-tattoo canvas, earning $11,100.

One athlete changed his name for a sponsor, and one even auctioned himself off for promotional purposes.

To Succeed: Don’t be afraid to try something new. If something doesn’t work out, you can always experiment with a different formula. Don’t be afraid to break the mold.

If you can’t focus on practicing for more than 45 minutes at a time, why don’t you take a break every 45 minutes? Better yet, you can reward yourself for every ten sessions of 45 minute practices to motivate yourself.

I’m also fascinated by volleyball players’ athletic tapes and their hand signals. Now you know which sports I play.

If you’re still not convinced that sports is like music, check out this article on performing music (and performance anxiety) by sports psychologist Dr. Noa Kageyama.

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