Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My advice to Olympians with 10 months to go!

As the calendar turns to 10 months before the 2012 Olympics, here is my Top 10 advice to athletes preparing for the London Games:

1. Don't change too much - what you've been doing is obviously working. One mistake I see often is that athletes start to panic. Stay calm and trust yourself. You've still got 10 months.

2. Put yourself in pressure situations beforehand. Try to recreate what Olympic sized pressure feels like. It's impossible to completely recreate, but the more you hold yourself accountable to the "one shot" mentality, the more comfortable it will become.

3. Pick a time in this next 10 months where you can relax and take a mental break from your intense training. Put it in the plan. Our minds need rest and recovery as much as our bodies do.

4. Start an Olympic blog and engage your network in your journey. The pursuit of excellence is most inspiring when the journey is shared. You'll feel the momentum with each comment you receive!

5. Don't be afraid to say NO. Make your Olympic dream your biggest priority. Beer drinking and camping can wait until you're retired ;)

6. Turn negatives into positives. Feel like the pressure is building? Guess what? You've earned it, sucka!

7. Focus on the details - Olympic titles are won by milliseconds, centimeters and pointed toes. Little details make all the difference.

8. Be consistent - show up everyday and execute your plan to the best of your ability. Simple, but a tried and true technique to reach your potential.

9. Visualize the perfect performance every night before you go to bed.  

10. Focus on your preparation, not the outcome. You have no control over who stands on the podium. You do, however, have total control over how prepared you feel when you stand there with a chance.

Good luck!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Canadian Sport Centre Calgary had a really fun golf tournament called "Golf with an Olympian".

My team rocked! My golf skills, however, are very very bad...

It's a good thing I like to drink beer.

Interestingly enough, my friend Robyn's (who's wedding I attended in Kelowna this summer) Dad, Don (far left), was in my foursome. What are the chances?!

I benefited greatly from the incredible services that the CSCC offers to athletes. In fact, I think I used every possible service atleast once (nutritionist, fat testing, life services, athlete resource centre, YES program, sport psych, chiro, massage, doctors, surgeons, physio, MRI, sonorex, etc, etc, etc, etc…) Without their support, I would not have been able to have such a successful career in sport. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Netball Quest 61

Congratulations to my friend, Martin Parnell, and his team for breaking a World record this weekend!

They played 61 simultaneous hours of netball. Holy smokes. That's crazy.

Check out more info here

photo courtesy of www.pushstart.org

I showed up for a mere hour on Sunday morning to lend my support. The game was in it's 40th hour and it had turned from "netball" to "zombieball". What an amazing feat…it really goes to show you that anything is possible when you set your mind to it and have an amazing team.

To contribute to Martin's goal of raising $25,000 for Right To Play, please donate here.

CBC Sports Day In Canada

I was part of an awesome panel discussion with my buddies Jenn Heil, Hayley Wickenheiser and Brian McKeever for CBC's Sports Day in Canada.

Please check it out here.

I just have to say, Scott Russell is my idol. He is so awesome at what he does and it inspires me...

Also, my friends Jason, Karen and Rosie were rockin' the trampoline action at the Distillery in Toronto. Check out their performances here

Thanks to True Sport and Participaction for their enthusiasm about what sport can do to help shape the future of our Country.

Yay for #sportsday!

Friday, September 02, 2011

35 days until World Gymnastics Championships...

There's 35 days left until the beginning of the World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo. This competition also serves as the first Olympic qualifier. The pressure is on.

For the Canadians, they have their work cut out for them. They need to be top 8 in order to guarantee full teams to the Olympic Games. At last years Worlds in Rotterdam, the men were 14th and the women were 13th. There is no room for mistakes in Tokyo if they want to travel to the Olympic Games with their teammates.

With 35 days to go, this is the time to buckle down and start committing to excellence. Every turn needs to be done with intention. The details need to be perfected. Consistency, team building and confidence should be the priority. Every gymnast should be in a position where they know they WILL hit their routines - the big question now should be: how GREAT can I make my routine?

Each gymnast and coach should be assigned their roles. Every gymnast should know where they stand in the line up. Every coach should know who will be on the floor and what each gymnast needs them to do or say before their routine so they feel comfortable. Everyone should know how to execute their job seamlessly. Ego's should be left on the sidelines. The teams need to be teams - not just a bunch of individuals wearing the maple leaf. 

The gymnasts should be forced to come to the gym each day with a detailed plan. It should be demanded that they take ownership of excellence. Each day, they need to be a little bit better than they were the day before. 

The gymnasts should also be using a lot of mats in training to stay safe. Safety is essential at this point - everyone needs to be feeling strong and healthy. Feeling healthy leads to confidence and momentum. Fluke mistakes are the only acceptable ones at this point. Mind games are unacceptable.

The gymnasts should be put in pressure situations NOW. Olympic qualifiers are stressful and we deal with stress best when we know what kinds of thoughts and feelings will come up. Meaningful competition scenarios should be created in the gym so the athletes can stand on the podium in Tokyo and feel like it's just another routine. 

The gymnasts should be working on visualization and positive self-talk. You can't DO the perfect routine until you can see yourself doing it. That's a fact.

With 35 days to go, this is when it starts to feel like the hard work is paying off. The hard part is done. Now is the time to switch gears into warrior mode and start training like a champion, not just another competitor.

Best buds

After a long run, my boys and I had a little nap. Heaven. Most times it's the little things that make life grand.

Patch and Cooper


I am at a standstill. 
My mind is frozen. 
I keep running into a brick wall. 

I am working on a big website revamp and at the moment, I am completely and utterly paralyzed.
I have written everything else, but I saved the hardest part for last.
The Bio and About Me.
I like it better when someone else writes these types of things for me. 
I don't know what to share. I don't know what people want to hear. I don't know what sounds impressive…(am I even supposed to sound impressive? Perhaps that's my problem) I keep having a battle with my villain. I write the same thing over and over again, hoping that it will be different. Oddly enough, it never is.

What I'm struggling the most with is sticking a stake into the ground and taking ownership for something. I feel the need to write a lot about the past, yet I am so focused on the future.
I am focused on what can be. I am focused on possibility.
I am not focused on what was. It's done. 

I had a conversation the other day with a friend's sister who is a fashion designer in London. We talked about having to let go in order to become something new. She wishes she could throw her old collections into the middle of the street and watch cars run over them. I found this very intriguing.

We dedicate our lives to something and then it comes to fruition. But once it's done, it's done. Why does the the world want us to define ourselves by what our past entails? Why do we have to write biographies?

I start to edit before I even write. My inner critic is judging me. "That doesn't sound good", he says.  I am on the verge of giving up. Being on the verge feels like a lump in my throat. It would be so easy to say, "Screw it, I'm over this. I'm not doing it. It doesn't matter". But it does matter. I want my story to be told in the perfect way. I don't want it to be dry. I want it to be funny and have character. I want it to be interesting and to capture what I stand for. Why is it that when we live through our experiences it is so difficult to make them sound exciting? Should writing your own 'bio' and 'about me' pages just be outlawed? That would make life easier.

I tend to be very critical of myself and get stuck in patterns. This I know is true. 

I guess sometimes the best way to cure a writers block is to take a step away and stop judging the fact that it isn't working. I think that's what I need to do. 

I am going to read a bunch of other fun bios and see if they spark something new inside of me. Because the reality is; I get to write what ever I want. It doesn't HAVE to impress anyone except for me.

I love you blog. Thanks for helping me gain perspective once again.