Snowboarder Carving TurnIt’s time for the winter Olympics again and the athletes competing in the 2018 games are some of the best that the world has ever seen. What does an Olympian have to teach the rest of us about what it takes to succeed against the best athletes in the world?

They start training during summer

One of the most critical methods Olympians use for winter success is to gradually build up to peak condition. The best athletes in the US know that rushing progress is a recipe for disaster.

Consequently, they start training as early as possible on the way to peak performance. This typically means summer workouts. Olympians will use unlikely gear like wet suits and wheeled sleds to virtual-reality to simulate the sports they’ll compete in at the 2018 Olympic Games. The thrilling show we’ll all enjoy on TV is thanks to the novel techniques that have been invented to provide as much training time as possible before the big event.

Ski jumpers wearing swim suits

Ski jumps are a challenge to practice in the warm weather, jumpers rely on porcelain ramps and swimming pools for a soft landing. Although there is a facility in Utah that relies on moistened plastic to simulate a snow landing. Even as the weather gets chillier, competitors will continue practicing jumps into water – they just start using dry suits like divers who swim in freezing water.

The ski simulator

Skytechsport makes the ski simulator; it’s essentially a treadmill for skiers. Racers can strap themselves in and practice slaloms all day long in front of a movie screen projecting a realistic downhill course. Regardless how hot and dry summer is, the ski team can work on their technique and train their bodies to peak condition many months away from competition day.

Playing pretend for real-world results

Downhill SkiingMany research studies have proven that you can get better at any activity just be imagining that you’re doing it. It’s called visualization and athletes have been using it to be the best at their sport for decades.

Modern visualization techniques rely on unbelievably detailed mental images of not just the sport an Olympian trains for, but everything. Athletes are encouraged to imagine every part of their event, from the view from the bus getting to the stadium to the smell in the air.

Endless repetition is key

The biathlon combines cross-country skiing with rifle marksmanship, and biathlon competitors will spend the summer and fall sending tens of thousands of rounds down-range. All winter Olympians will endlessly carry out the movements that their sport requires; sometimes in the course of regular practice, but also in parts.

Regardless if it’s a trigger pull, hip movement or foot placement on a landing – every possible nuance is going to be explored and examined to see if it can be made more efficient, more accurate or simply stronger. Then these athletes will repeat those movements, endlessly, to reach perfection.

They develop laser focus

The secret to beating the competition at anything is focus. You could be the best at a sport, but if you can’t concentrate when it matters, you’re coming in last. Here’s what winter Olympians know about developing the unshakeable focus it takes to win.

First concentration is split up into four separate categories:

  • Many-outside: Seeing many elements of the entire situation, like when you’re looking over a soccer field or basketball court.
  • Few-outside: Seeing only one or two aspects of a situation. Useful for a biathlon shooter focusing on the target he’s aiming at.
  • Many-inside: Considering several thoughts at approximately the same time. This is crucial for Hockey coaches keeping track of all his players during a game.
  • Few-inside: Focusing on only one or two thoughts, like a bobsledder right before the big push off.

Hockey Player Down on IceWe’re all best at one type of concentration, so, coaches will evaluate an athlete’s best concentration category to take best advantage of their particular, best focusing ability. An athlete’s ability to concentrate can mean the difference between standing on the podium or watching from the audience after an event.

Olympians eat and drink to win

Arguably, this is the most important factor to winter Olympics success. These athletes have every calorie, gram of fat and protein, vitamin and amino acid calculated to provide them the energy, recuperative ability, and all-round health needed to perform at an elite level.

Everyone is familiar with swimmer Michael Phelps 10,000 to 12,500 calorie per day diet. This wasn’t his choice, it was what nutritionists determined he needed to consume to perform at his best. Winter or summer Olympics, each athlete must follow a specific diet that is calculated to keep them fighting fit for their big day in the spotlight.

The following two tabs change content below.

Matt Bradley

I am an enthusiast of Healthy Living through the communal sharing of experiences and science. As a Zen practitioner I enjoy learning about ways to be in touch with my inner balance and imparting the information to others. I also enjoy a good snort of bourbon but will not try and impart that passion on our readers here.

Latest posts by Matt Bradley (see all)