8 Reasons no one cares you’re tired: Letter from an Olympian

Note to Coaches: As you've probably noticed already, sometimes your athletes need to hear a different voice than yours; and who better than an Olympian? We asked Olympic Silver Medalist, Courtney Thompson, to share her perspective on fighting fatigue in athletic performance. Share her message with your team, and read all the way to the end of the blog for another actionable tool to drive these principles home.

Most of us respond to fatigue by getting frustrated and feeling bad for ourselves. We let our fatigue take us out of our game and into a mindset that isn't helpful to us or our team.

Luckily, I have a few tips you can use to help get out of that destructive thought pattern and back to focusing on becoming the best athlete you can be. It may sound harsh, but here are:

8 Reasons no one cares you’re tired

#1: It’s not about you, so get over it.

The fact of the matter is you play a team game, even if it’s an individual sport, and as a teammate...

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5 Ways self-talk will help you now!

 By Olympian Courtney Thompson

You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns.  Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind.”  -I Ching

In my experience, it’s pretty safe to assume that everyone wants to be confident.  No matter what you are doing: Playing a game, giving a speech, on a date, or taking a test at school, it’s going to be infinity more enjoyable when you feel good about who you are in that moment. In other words, confident in your own skin.

I know from personal experience how painful it is to NOT be truly myself in a given moment. It’s a feeling, in my opinion, significantly worse than losing or failing or any of the things we spend time worrying about.

What I want for you

This is my challenge to the athletes I work with: Fight and work towards being your true self, nothing more and nothing less, in every environment you...

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Empowered by mental training, volleyball setter regains her starting position

Being a volleyball setter isn't an easy job. Junior Jordan Timmer, a member of George Washington University's volleyball team in Washington, D.C., learned that the hard way.

Compared often to the quarterback of a football team, the setter's skill and toughness is key to a team's overall success. That's why when Timmer realized her skills were slipping last season -- and when she eventually lost her setter position -- she made a move to improve, entering into a lottery for mental training from one of the best volleyball setters out there: Olympian Courtney Thompson, who also works with Positive Performance as a Mental Training Coach.

Timmer knew it was time to boost her performance, empower her mind, and put her team back in the place they wanted to be: the winner's circle.

And she did. After training over the summer with Courtney, her team "is off to its best start since the 2011-12 season."

 [Tweet "I'm earning my place with mental training from...

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Volleyball olympic athlete Courtney Thompson: The mental game and leadership

Photo from giveitbackfoundation.org

In an effort to keep things short and sweet, we wanted to share a couple of audio clips from an interview Positive Performance's Co-Founder Lindsey Wilson conducted with 2012 silver-medalist and Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson.

How To Mentally Prepare.

Being a great athlete has a lot to do with how one prepares their mind, not only going into the game, but long before and long after. Here, Courtney talks about how she prepares herself.

 

For a transcription of this video, click here.

The mental game.

Born in 1984 in Kent, Washington, Courtney understood early on that having a clear mission was important to her success as a volleyball player. Listen as Courtney talks to Lindsey about...

  • How she developed her mental game;
  • Why she feels mental strength is important; and
  • how she continues to harness her mental strength to continually improve.

"What sets Courtney apart is, she battles."

- Hugh McCutcheon, Olympic Gold &...

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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,...

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Courtney Thompson on leadership (transcribed)

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

Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on Leadership

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: One of the things that we find with athletes a lot is that they struggle with leadership, there's, I mean, obviously, we can have a whole conversation about leadership, but one issue in particular is they struggle with leadership when they're not playing their best. You know, they're screwing up or they just blew it. How do you – I mean, that's one that your team probably needs it the most, right?

Courtney Thompson: Exactly.

Lindsey: So how do you maintain that leadership even if you're not doing that great?

Courtney: Yeah. It's a really hard one. But I think that's the biggest misconception in leadership, you know? The idea that one, you have to be the best player or always have to be...

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Courtney Thompson on the mental game (transcribed)

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

 

Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on the Mental Game

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: I think we really wanted to talk to you Courtney because I know you were really known for being hardworking athlete, and that's something that I've always respected about you. But I just want to talk to you a little bit. You know, everybody thinks about hard work and the physical side of working hard. You know, pushing through physical pain and staying motivated and I'm always fascinated of course by the mental component to pushing past that physical pain and the mental component to discipline. So can you just talk al little bit about that?

Courtney Thompson: Yeah. I think for me, even at a young age, I think it's always been important to me to know my mission. You know? And to...

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