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.