Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on mentally preparing (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on the Mental Game and Leadership, published November 26, 2014.

Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on Mentally Preparing

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: Talk us through the mental preparation. You know one of the things obviously that we talk to our athletes a lot about is being able to see the success before you actually achieve it. And knowing that just because you see it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

Courtney Thompson: Right.

Lindsey: But you can almost assure that it’s not going to happen if you can’t see it.

Courtney: Right. Right. I think one thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t believe you can win, if you don’t believe your team can win, if you don’t believe in yourself, then there’s no point in showing up. And so for me, a lot of the work is doing enough training, physically, mentally, to believe that you’ve earned the right to take advantage of that opportunity. And something that I’ve done a ton of is visualizing and meditating so I can be more consistent in big moments, in small moments, in every moment to just be my best self. And when you can do that individually, it’s going to happen as a team. And one of the coolest moments for me was after we won, getting the medal. You know, I have a five-minute meditation or visualizing thing that at the end of it, it goes through training and then it talks about you playing in a game and you being calm, putting [inaudible 1:08] and all the things we work on, and focus and thinking about the right things. And then it says now picture yourself winning a gold medal. Feel it around your neck, look at it, and see, I’m getting goosebumps right now just thinking about it. I had thought about that moment for so long and worked so hard, to feel that and to get to actually live in that moment and have it come true was pretty awesome and really surreal but I think it also reminds you why you’re doing it and you can think about the positive things that could come of this and yeah, that’s what I want. That’s what I want to happen. That’s what I want to experience. Now what do I need to do today to make that happen? But you know, dreaming and believing in cool things happening is a wonderful part of life that I think everybody should get into for sure.  

Want to know even more about what makes Courtney Thompson tick? Check out the documentary, Court & Spark.


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