All posts by Kara Zakrzewski

Coach Kara, Kinesiologist, M.A. Sport and Performance Psychology, and Olympic-class athlete, is the Founder, CEO, and Chief Mental Toughness Coach at Mental Toughness Inc. With over 17 years of experience in the sport and performance industry, 7 of which was spent competing as a professional athlete, and after working with 1000s of athletes to develop their mental toughness, Kara is recognized as a leader in the field of sport and performance psychology. Together with her Mental Toughness Team, Kara is committed to sharpening your mental edge so you too can MAX OUT YOUR PERFORMANCE.

How to Up Your Performance this Spring

As the snow is melting for those of us in Northern climates and as the days are growing longer, it’s time to come out of hibernation mode and kick it to the next gear of training (like the bear in this photo, lol!).  Even the most serious athletes can find it more challenging to get to the gym and give their full effort in the winter (yes, even those athletes I work with who are winter sport athletes have this same challenge too!).

So, this week’s Mental Toughness Tip is all about how you can use mental toughness training principles to motivate you to either increase the intensity of your training now that the weather is cooperating or how to get yourself back into training again.

I was interviewed for an article entitled “Mind Over Matter: Get Your Head In The MTB Game” by’s resident Mountain Biking Expert Beth Puliti’on what it takes to get yourself back to full training after the winter.  Whether you’re a mountain biker or not, these mental toughness principles are universal and can be applied to various areas of your game.  

In this article I unveiled my top 5 strategies to bring your performance to the next level after the winter.  So click on the link to discover how you too can use the power of your mind to up your performance this spring.

To read the article and bring your performance to the next level, click here.

How to harness anxiety for success

Recently, a reporter asked me the following questions for an article she was writing.  I thought I’d give you a sneak peak into my take on anxiety and what you can do about it.

What does anxiety mean? What happens to our body when we experience it?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines anxiety as:

"An abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physiological signs (as sweating, tension, and increased pulse), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one's capacity to cope with it”.

This physiological response is often known as ‘fight or flight’, and it serves a very valuable purpose.  If you think about it, back when our caveman ancestors had real and looming threats – like the saber-toothed tiger – around every corner, it was imperative they had a physiological reaction that operated like clockwork to get them out of danger.

However, in modern days we do not have the same threats as we did in caveman days.  When we do, our fight or flight mechanism can often save our lives. Yet, oftentimes the threat we’re anxious about isn’t even real, but instead made up in a persons’ mind.

When I work with my clients, I refer to these future concerns, doubts, and fears as the ‘What ifs”: What if I fail? What if I can’t do it and everyone finds out? What if I embarrass myself? What if I get fired? What if, what if, what if . . it can go on forever and ever.  And when you’re focused on your what ifs, you are actually distracted from reality.  You start to think that these ‘what ifs’ are real: it’s like whatever future concern or fear you’re thinking about is happening to you right now.  So you succumb to your concerns, doubts and fears in the same way that if there was actually a saber-toothed tiger in front of you.  It feels the same, the same fight or flight mechanism is triggered in your body, and your anxiety rises (often exponentially).

But there is no saber-toothed tiger, the threat isn’t actually present, so the question becomes: How can we calm ourselves down when an anxiety attack hits (and it can feasibly hit multiple times per day in a normal person, especially if you’re concerned about something you deeply care about)?

What kind of situations lead us to anxiety?

Any situation can lead to anxiety, from not remembering to purchase that one ingredient that’s needed to make your grandmother’s famous soufflé only hours before 40 people are expected to descend upon your house to a big presentation that’s weeks away.  It is not so much the situation that causes the anxiety, but rather our mindframe about the situation.   In other words, the same situation could cause anxiety in one person and not another or might cause anxiety for you at one moment and not another – it’s all about how you think about it.

One thing I discovered when writing my thesis on the experience of anxiety in beach volleyball athletes at the 2012 Olympics was that those athletes who were less prepared experienced higher levels of anxiety.  To go back to caveman-times for a moment: If you were standing there with a saber-toothed tiger in front of you, it is obvious that you would feel much more anxious if you were there on your own, without any weapons and without a plan than if you had a group of cave-people surrounding the tiger, with a tiger-trap rigged up, and with bows and arrows ready to fire.  Preparation is key in dealing with anxiety.

Similarly, when something unexpected happens, your experience of anxiety is usually at it’s peak, again because there has been no opportunity to adequately prepare to deal with the situation.

Does technology play a role on that issue?

I think that technology can lead to anxiety depending on the users’ relationship with technology.  Due to modern technology, in their waking hours the users can have the experience of always being ‘on’ and connected – to work, to family, to the world.  When constantly connected to technology it is more challenging to be connected to yourself because the feedback is external in nature.  As a result, it is imperative that you spend even a little time away from technology each day to recharge your batteries.  The best way I know to do so is by adopting a mindfulness meditation practice.  Doing so is simple, but not easy: it’s simple because all it requires is for you to to take 5-15 minutes a various intervals throughout the day, close your eyes, disconnect from the world, disengage from your thoughts and focus inward into nothing while breathing deeply.  And, it’s not easy because you’re used to your thoughts and other messages bombarding us constantly throughout the day.

Try spending even 10 seconds without getting distracted by your thoughts of what you have to do. You’ll see how this simple task can be very difficult!

When is feeling anxious good for your health?

Anxiety is very important for us as human beings. It is part of the mechanism that keeps us safe.  We need anxiety, it’s part of our genetic make-up, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon (nor would we want it to).  In fact, in my thesis interview with 3x Olympian Kerri Walsh, she said she’s always anxious!  The trick is to accept that it is there and to identify times when you feel most anxious, then create a plan to deal with that.  In fact, I often tell my athletes that butterflies and nervousness is a good thing, because it shows them that they care about their pursuit.  When anxiety is good for your health is when you use it as a signal (kind of like a traffic signal) to cue you to how you are feeling, or to what might be awry in your surroundings.  So long as you don’t judge yourself or the anxiety experience, you’re ahead of the game and then you can go about dismantling any unnecessary anxiety feelings and otherwise enjoy the ride.  The fact that you’re anxious means that you’re ALIVE!

Anxiety management for athletes - download

What are five tactics to control anxiety?

1.  Accept the Anxiety – Accept that you’re going to be anxious.  That butterflies are part of human existence.  That anxiety serves a valuable role in keep you safe and on your toes.  In fact, when I interviewed her for my thesis, 3x Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh said she’s always anxious and that one of her tricks has been to accept that and to name her butterflies ‘Victory’.

2. Identify Your ‘What Ifs’ – Unless there’s a real threat right in front of you, most anxiety symptoms are caused by your thoughts about what might happen in the future.  The trick is to take 5 minutes to identify all of your possible ‘What ifs’ so that at least you are aware of what you’re concerned about so you can do something about it.  Make sure to write down all of your what ifs, even the silly ones.

3. Get Prepared –  Using your ‘What Ifs’ as a guide, create a plan of action for each of those what ifs, so if they do arise, you will be prepared to deal with them.  Create a plan for every eventuality you can think of, and you’ll notice your anxiety subside.  Even if you are faced with a situation you had not prepared for, all of your preparation will help you to be cool-headed in the moment.

4. Take a Breath – Anxiety happens when your mind races to future thoughts of what might or might not happen. There is no anxiety in the present moment, all there is is action and/or reaction.  Mindfulness training is a great way to get connected to the present moment  To get focused in on the resent, ask yourself: What’s one thing I have to do every moment or else I’ll day?  Yes, you have to breath.  So the trick to getting back present is to focus completely on your breath.  Take three deep breathes in and out, pausing for  three seconds at the top and bottom of each breath.  Feel every molecule of air filling all your cells and organs, and feel all your concerns, doubts, fears, and negativity exiting your body with your out-breath.  Not only will your heart rate decrease (also minimizing your anxiety symptoms) but your logical mind will return, able to deal with the situation at hand.

5. Train your Brain – Mental Training is no different than physical training in that the repetition of desired skills leads to the results that you want.  In the case of anxiety, mental training can support you in developing new brain patterns that help you to early identify your anxiety symptoms and cut them off before the get a hold of you.  Mental Training will also support you in developing proficiency in using tools to support minimizing anxiety symptoms when they strike.  We have a Mental Training App called ‘Get Psyched App’ available for free on the Apple App Store that has specific tools (including visualization and mindfulness training) to help you train your brain as well as many other mental training articles on our website.


Congratulations to MTI Client Ella Douglas on a Silver Medal International Finish

For Ella Douglas, winning silver on beam was not predictable or to be expected, especially not at Gymnix, Canada’s premier international gymnastics competition.  Over the last 2 years Ella has undergone two different surgeries: one on her shoulder about two years ago and another on her foot/ankle last summer.She had only been back to full-time training about one month ago, and she cannot remember the last time she trained without intense pain.

There have been times when Ella has wanted to quit, when she questioned her Olympic dream – if it was even still possible – and wondered whether it would simply make more sense for her to take her NCAA scholarship now instead of deferring it until after the Olympics.  However, it’s Ella’s unrelenting determination, drive, and perseverance that has kept her going despite the pain, the set-backs, and the uncertainty.  

And her persistence paid off this past weekend.

I first found out via a Facebook post on her mom’s wall, where she wrote: “Silver medal on beam! Congrats Gabby!!”  I could hardly believe it.  Ella and I had spoken a few days before her competition (as we have almost every week for the past 3 years or so) and the focus was on getting through all her events cleanly.  The silver medal was not to be predicted (especially after she fell on beam in the qualifier, and only got into event finals by a judge’s choice).
In Ella’s words, “It’s all about being in the moment, being fully focused on what you’re doing at that time and then move on when it’s done to the next thing.”
I took the opportunity today to interview young and inspiring Ella Douglas on her victory this weekend: the victory over her injury as much as her podium finish.  
Kara:  First of all, I’m so proud of you for everything you accomplished and overcame to get the silver medal.  I almost fell off my seat when I heard about it!  Today I want you to share your story with other athletes, so that they too can be inspired to overcome the odds and push past whatever is stopping them.
So tell me about the weekend Ella.
Ella:  This weekend I had this thought “Why is this any different than training? Actually it’s easier than training because I only have one event then I’m done!”  I was very rational.  On the beam I thought, “Why be nervous, just go straight and I won’t fall off the beam”.
 I was very proactive in the competition environment – usually I do a bunch of stuff beforehand and then I just go compete on competition day. This time, in between events I went to the athletes corral and put my legs up, which both drained the lactic acid and relaxed my whole body.  I also proactively visualized my routines my with headphones on.  All of this allowed me to feel very in control of how I was thinking, of my body, and of my emotions.
Kara: So how’d you finish?
Ella: I came 7th all-around, 4th on Floor, and 2nd on Beam.  
Kara:  Wow that’s amazing, especially since I’ve been speaking with you and we’ve been working on your mind frame.  We really didn’t think this was going to happen.  Your goal was simply to get through all your events.  How long have you been back training after your last surgery?
Ella:  The last surgery was in August of last year and I’ve only really been fully training for 1 month since surgery
Kara:  What allowed you to be so successful on the weekend?
Ella: Well, I had a rest day in between finals.  I spent the whole day not thinking about anything – so that I didn’t over think.  I did yoga, I watched my teammate compete, I bought some new gym suits, but I didn’t think of anything to do with gymnastics.  I was just really present and didn’t let my mind over analyze or worry about my injuries.
Kara: So tell me about the finals.
Ella: The finals were supposed to be in Olympic Order: so beam then floor.  The floor hurts more, so I knew I could get beam over with and perform my best then give everything on floor because I could rest after.  Only they switched it and they did floor first then beam.  It was so stressful.  I was last to go on floor then second to go on beam, so I did my floor routine, presented to the judges, and had to run across the large venue to the beam to line up in front of the judges.  When I got there I was wheezing and out of breath.  
I had about 30seconds, so my coaches were running to get me water then it was my turn to warm-up on beam.  I figured that my skills were all muscle memory at this point, and that I just needed to catch my breath, so I didn’t practice any of my skills in warm-up.  I chugged water, caught my breath, then it was my turn to compete.
I told myself, “Just go straight, do what you know how to do and it’ll be fine”.  Then I did that.  I hit my beam routine and came 2nd by only 0.075!
Kara:  Amazing! What are you going to take away from this competition for future competitions?
Ella:  First of all, being more present and proactive in the competition: I tend to forget what I needs and only focus on the competition versus my other needs.  
Here’s what I’ll do in between events to be more proactive in future competitions:
  • Get physio
  • Lie down with my legs up
  • Close my eyes and visualize
  • And do more ‘rational thinking’ – continuing to come back to the present moment, to right now, vs. focusing on the ‘What ifs?’
Kara: How are you going remind yourself of this?
Ella:  I’m going to use Gymnix as past positive experience to remind me.  I’m going to say to myself, “Do what you did at Gymnix”.
Kara:  Your amazing result is really a testament to your work ethic, to your maturity, and to what’s possible when you never give up. 
Is there anything want to say to other young athletes or gymnasts?
Ella: If anything goes wrong or if you have an unexpected situation, injury, or something else giving trouble, really do not give up.  This might sound a little cliché or hard to hear sometimes, it’s about just taking everything one day at a time.  
I went through a long period of time where I had to take things hour-by-hour, or else it was all too overwhelming, stressful, and hard to deal with.  It’s about staying present and taking tiny steps.  Even when I was going to training, I didn’t even think of my events: I’d go to gym and only think about warm-up. Then, when warm-up was over and I moved to bars, I’d only think about bars.  Then when I was on floor, my mind was 100% on floor.  This present-mindedness made a huge difference.  It also trains the brain how to compete well and not let external factors bother you.
It’s all about being in the moment, being fully focused on what you’re doing at that time and then move on when it’s done to the next thing.
We couldn’t be prouder of Ella an what she’s achieved.  Thank you Ella for sharing your wisdom and perseverance with us all.  You are living proof of the power of Mental Toughness! We’ll all be cheering you on as you continue on your path to qualifying for the Pan Am Games.

MTI Athlete Maddie Radvanyi wins Silver at Canada Games

What an exciting week it’s been for MTI athlete Maddie Radvanyi!  One week ago she was just a student at school at Acadia University in Nova Scotia and now she’s the Canada Games GS Snowboarding Silver Medalist.  This is only the 2nd Canada Winter Games medal for Nova Scotia.

I spoke with Maddie today and she let me in on the experience and also shared with me what made the difference for her in these races.  When I asked Maddie what made the biggest difference in her performance, here’s what she said:


  • Maddie and I had an extra call on Monday because she was feeling nervous leading into the competition because she was doubting whether she could get a medal at the Games. I had her look at all she’s accomplished, all the training she’s done, and challenged her to give me a reason not to believe in herself.
  • Maddie shared with me that after our call on Monday she started repeating the following Mantra to herself: ‘I believe in myself’.  She just kept repeating it over and over again to herself.
  • As a result, she began to trust all of her training and experience and trust she could podium at the Games. When she raced, it was all trust even when she fell, she knew she could still medal.


  • After our call on Monday, Maddie realized that her nerves were a physiological response to her thoughts.  
  • So, in her words, ‘I stopped thinking about that stuff, and my nerves went away’.  
  • Maddie actively chose how she was going to think about her competition as an opportunity, and with that she was able to focus in on how she wanted to perform.


  • Maddie fell in her first run of two that made up her semi-final race because she was trying too hard.  As a result she was given a time penalty, so she knew she’d need to make up the time in her second run. 
  • In her next semi-final run, Maddie was ahead of her competitor.  She trusted she could win and she gave it her all.  She didn’t give up. As a result, she put pressure on her competitor and her competitor fell.  
  • Maddie made it into the final by about 0.02 seconds thanks largely to her perseverance.


  • Maddie was clear in her interview with the Chronicle Herald in Nova Scotia (read the full interview here) that visualization made a difference in her victory.  (I even got a little shout out as her sport psychologist in the Chronicle Herald article :D).
  • Maddie used visualization to prepare her for the race for the weeks leading into the Games, and also to familiarize her with the hill when she arrived. 
  • Note: You too can add visualization to your Mental Toughness Training by taking our online mental toughness training program

Maddie, we are all very proud of you and are clear that this Silver Medal finish is a result of the hard work you’ve put in both on and off the hill.  Thank you for sharing your experience with others.


Mental Toughness at the Super Bowl in 2015

For those of you who watched the Super Bowl in 2015, I’m sure you noticed that the theme  was definitely Mental Toughness.  In the post game celebrations, it seemed like all Patriot interviewees brought up the subject of Mental Toughness as being a determining factor in their narrow win over the Seahawks.

In an interview after winning the tournament MVP, Tom Brady, arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, explained:

“It was… a lot of Mental Toughness, our team had it all year. We never doubted each other.  That’s what it took.  That’s a great football team we beat.  I’m just so happy for our team”

(see the full interview here)

As a result, the Patriots were able to remain cool under fire. Their rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler was able to intercept what would otherwise been an easy Seahawk victory in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter (which could be argued was a blunder in mental toughness on the part of Seahawk coach Pete Carroll).

The Psychology Behind the Sea Hawks Last Losing Play

What had one team shine in the final minutes while the other choked with their experienced (and talented) coach Pete Carroll at the helm?  According to  Huffington Post columnist Steve Seibold, Carroll’s tragic flaw can be attributed to three key factors:

  1. Emotional decision making
  2. Arrogance
  3. Underestimating his opponent

It was a combination of these 3 factors that Seibold explained led to Carroll’s decision to have his quarterback throw instead of run the ball at the end of the game, turning an otherwise brilliant game into an overwhelming upset for Seahawk fans.

(read the full article here)

What to learn for when the pressure’s on

When the pressure’s on, when the game is on the line, the first thing to understand is that your emotions will rule the show if left unchecked.  This is the perfect time for a time-out (if possible) and to reconnect with your breath.

Breathing has the capability of slowing down the autonomic nervous system, to regulate your heart rate, and to decrease your stress response.  If you have to make a decision at crunch time, first take 3 deep breaths in and out, preferably with your eyes closed and visualize the different options of what to do next.

It is a simple thing, but with your breathing slowed, your mind slows and that emotional response often does not look like the best idea any more.

For more Mental Toughness Tips and the revamped Get Psyched App, stay tuned.

Pride a motivator and result of a job well done

Pride is an important part of optimal performance and, at the same time, it makes all the hard work worthwhile.

As I high performer, you need to have a certain amount of pride for getting the job done right, for representing your ‘team’, your country, your family, yourself to the best of your ability.  

Pride is a motivator, and it is also a fuel that helps you to get ‘er done with the ‘game’ is on the line.

Pride is what I experienced yesterday when the coach of the Humber Volleyball team emailed me to inform me, in his words:

“Hey you’re a celebrity.  Here is the magazine that goes across the OCAA (Ontario College Athletic Association) and it has your article in it.”​sweat_winter2015

After I got over my initial “OMG, what if I said something silly and they quoted me” (this is a deep rooted concern, as I was once quoted in the Ottawa Sun as saying ‘I’m a Sun Baby!’  What?), I felt pride that:

    My mission to education all athletes and high performing individuals as to the power of Mental Toughness Training was picking up speed​
    I had reached a large population of athletes who now get mental toughness training can help their performance
    I was willing to put myself out there

Get Psyched Game-Plan: Get Tough!

It’s time to Get Tough! 

Not like forcing something or making something happen, but rather being in a place to respond to whatever the game, whatever your surroundings throw at you and be able to handle it with ease.

Who doesn’t want that?

So this month’s Get Psyched Game-Plan of the Month will include 3 simple steps to ‘toughen’ you up.

Get Psyched Game-Plan of the Month

  1. Re-Experience The Performance: Close your eyes and think back to your last sub-par performance.  Put yourself in the performance: how did you feel? what were you thinking? what was your body like? how did you look? Take an assessment of yourself and your surroundings.
  2. Record your Experience: Take out a notepad and write down your assessments: your feelings, your thoughts, your surroundings.  Get present to the way it felt and what you said to yourself during this sub-par performance.  
  3. Create a Plan: Choose the top 2 physical or emotional cues from your past sub-par performance experience(s).  What are you going to pay attention to the next time you perform to avoid the poor performance spiral before it starts?  For example, you might notice you clench your fists in stressful performances.  You can use this as a cue or signal to look for as a precursor to your sub-par performance.  Then, create a plan for how you are going to get back to the present when you notice this cue or signal, for example you make shake out your hands and say to yourself ‘I got this!’.

The point is that when you have a plan, you have a way out.  It won’t always work right away, it will definitely take practice, and maybe even some trial and error, however the more you train it, the better you’ll get at identifying your negative self-talk and opposing actions so you can more quickly get back to performing the way you want.

Why resolutions don’t work . . .

What are your goals this year?  So often people focus on ‘resolutions’ and often fall short for another year in a row because these resolutions are based on what they don’t want anymore versus what they actually want to achieve.

When you focus on what you don’t want, your brain gets confused as it tends to omit the not or no that you’re focusing on.  So what you get is more of that thing you don’t want.

I’ll give you an example: Don’t think of a purple elephant . .come on now, don’t think of it, whatever you do!

What’s the first thing that comes to mind?  A purple elephant of course.

In contrast, a goal is the winning point, what you’re aiming for.  It is what you do want  versus what you don’t want to keep happening.  It is meant to direct your actions towards a common point so that you achieve what it is that you actually want.

So this second week of January – after the festivities have died down and you have gotten back into your regular life – it’s the perfect time to look forward to what you want to create for 2015, both in your sport and in your life.

Here’s what there is to do: Put 20 minutes aside and purposefully plan what you want 2015 to look like – have fun with this.  What do you want to achieve by the end of the year?  Start there then work backwards, creating a milestone each month both for your sport and for each area of life that is important to you.  Push yourself with your goals.

Then all there is to do is take actions that are aligned with your goals, such that your goals are charting the course of your life, and, in the words of Venus Williams, “ignore the rest”.

For example, my Ultimate Goals for 2015 are:

  • To grow my business by 25%,
  • To service another 10,000+ athletes, including with an awesome service (it’s still a secret) we will be offering by the end of the year
  • To get pregnant

To support you (as well as my goals above), I have a little contest for you!  I only do this about 2 times per year so you’ll have to act fast (as it filled up last year).

Here’s the contest: I am offering a Free Goal Setting Consultation to the first 3 people who email us your Ultimate Goal for 2015.  It’s that simple.  Only the first 3 people win, so email quickly to get your goals into gear.

Looking forward to hearing from you and to bringing your performance to the next level this year!

Most improved player . . way to go!

This awesome photo is of Amanda, one of my super dedicated NCAA college athletes.  When I started working with Amanda, she was going into her first season in college . . . she did not see the court much that season, and her marks were not as high as she wanted them to be.  Yet she kept working super hard and apply the Mental Toughness principles we spoke about every week without fail. This season she went in for extra sessions, both for volleyball and school, she was calmer, she performed when it counted, and she became the go-to hitter on her team in clutch situations.  She developed into a mentally tough athlete who could be counted on by her teammates. Amanda did not ever give up and it was her persistence, coachability, and work ethic that moved her ahead.

Just yesterday I received an excited text from Amanda:

“Just wanted to let you know that I got voted most improved player by my teammates and coaches. Guess all my hard work and extra help was noticeable.”

This from an athlete who rode the pine her first season, but slugged it out with visions of what it could be like to become a starting, go-to player.

Amanda now knows that if she puts in the work, and takes the coaching, she can achieve anything (and by the way she is now crushing it academically too!).

So many of our limits are in fact imposed by our thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions – what I call our MindFrame.  This MindFrame has the potential to limit what we do and achieve in our lives, both on and off the ‘field’.  However, when trained, our MindFrame can actually have us achieve things others would deem impossible.  

For 1.5 years, Amanda and I have worked on her MindFrame, on creating new default mind patterns so that her true potential could be tapped.  Our most effective strategy together was having Amanda keep focused on what she wanted, not what was happening (e.g., focusing on starting, not on that she was not seeing the court) and then taking actions consistent with her vision.  The more she took actions that were in line with her vision, the more she re-trained her MindFrame on how to approach her sport and her life.

It would have been easy for Amanda to resign to being on the bench.  But instead, we kept looking forward to what Amanda wanted and literally painting the picture of how we wanted it to go.  Then, acting as if it was obviously going to happen, Amanda would take actions in line with that goal, with that painting.  As an example, here’s some of what Amanda did:

  • She did individual sessions every week,
  • She visualized,
  • She watched video,
  • She focused in on things that helped her and got rid of the ‘extras’.

And in the end, Amanda achieved the success that before she could only imagine in her dreams.

I share Amanda’s story:

  • As a lesson of the power of perseverance, positive self-talk, taking effective action, and always looking for and applying the coaching.
  • So that you can be inspired to achieve your dreams even if it looks impossible.
  • And, so you can take away from it what will support you in achieving your goals.

Great work Amanda – you did it.  I’m very proud of you :D.

Some sport inspiration…

Leading into the Holidays, I thought to myself “what message do I want to send in my weekly Mental Toughness Tips email?”.  Immediately, what came to me was the message of inspiration, that anything is possible, that what limits us only are those limitations we impose in our own mind.

Take Terry Fox for example: Diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 22, he decided to run across Canada to raise money for Cancer research.  It was an impossible feat by all standards, yet he decided to run, firm in his resolve that he’d complete the journey and raise a slew of money to help others.  Little did he know that his legacy and mission would succeed him.  To date, over $650 million has been raised for cancer through the yearly Terry Fox Run.

We don’t need to have tragedy to spark inspiration, but often we wait for that.  What if we just made a choice: I chose to achieve my dream, I chose to do whatever it takes, I chose to push myself past what’s ‘possible’ in the traditional sense of the term?  What would be available then?

I guarantee you that it is you that’s stopping yourself: not your coach, or that team that’s challenging you, or the referee, or the unfair decision that was made against you, or whatever.  IT IS YOU!  If you can reach down and find the sort of inspiration and motivation that sparked Terry Fox, or Angelo Wittis, or Eric LeGrand, or Jackie Mitchell (all names I did not know until I read this blog), there’s NOTHING you cannot do.

So please read this 9 Inspirational Sport Stories blog as inspirational for your own sport story and share with me what you discover. . . in Sport Psychology, we call this ‘Vicarious learning’, or learning through others examples and experiences.  Learn from these examples, then go out and create your own inspirational sport story.

Looking forward to hearing all about it!