Mind over Matter – Avery Stonich
For Mac Bohonnon it was his lifetime dream to compete in the Olympics. Getting there required not only physical preparation, but getting his mind focused on what mattered.
Bohonnon had been training for the Olympics since he was 13 years old. His sport, aerial skiing involves skiing down a ramp at 70 km/h+, launching yourself over 50ft in the air, completing a series of tricks that would put a gymnast to shame, and landing on a steep slope. Bohonnon’s spot in the Olympics was gained last minute, yet he managed to get 5th place in a field of athletes in their late 20s and at the peak of their athletic ability. Bohonnon was only 18 years old and performed two tricks he had never attempted before the Sochi games. The key, he says, is in the mind. “In the top ten, there’s not much of an athletic difference.” Said his coach. It comes down to visualization: Envisioning success, eliminating negative thoughts, and practicing relaxation techniques. With Bohonnon’s success this early in his career it’s obvious that he can only get better. Hopefully he will be fighting for the gold in the next Olympics.
I really like this article because it proves just how much of an effect the mental side of things has on your performance. I think the people who believe they can achieve their goals have a much better chance of getting there than those who doubt themselves. I’m not all that good at doing jumps on skis because I always have that “What if it goes wrong?” thought in my head when I’m going towards the lip of a jump. I always let doubt cloud over and in the end I won’t go for the 360 or whatever I was planning to do when sitting on the chairlift. I think that if I follow Bohonnon’s principles of eliminating negative thoughts and envisioning success I’d be more confident when trying new things, not just when it comes to skiing.