The media has pre-Games stress and distraction too

CTV NewsOn Jan 29th, I did another TV interview on my mentoring and the security threat from the athletes perspective. Recently, I’ve been asked a lot by the media how athletes are dealing with the distraction of the current ‘security threat’. This makes me laugh – because it seems to me that it’s the media who are the most distracted by it.While a major threat from inside the host nation is different that any of the pre-Games news stories that I can recall – I do believe that the scale of the hype around security can be chalked up to the media’s own pre-Games freak out. At the Olympics, there will be over 10,000 media representatives with almost 100 nations around the world following the Games. Globally the Games promise to take up the lion’s share of February’s news chatter. 

Waiting to start is when we are our most uncomfortable; nobody trains for that. Right now – all those media people are waiting for something “Olympic” to happen so that they can have an opinion and talk about it. Continue reading

Going to Sochi – a chat with Matt Galloway (CBC radio)

Metro Morning with Matt GallowayOn CBC radio – Metro Morning

 January 28, 2014

Olympic Mentor

With so much bad press coming out of Russia, how do you keep athletes focused on the podium, and not the controversies? Matt Galloway spoke with three-time Olympic champion, Marnie Mc Bean. She is the author of “The Power Of More”.
Listen audio (runs 6:31)
(Note- My apologies – if I knew how to embedded this file and NOT autoplay – I would have. MMcB)

Hidden Impact of Mentoring

Soon I will go to Sochi to continue my work as a mentor to the Canadian Olympic Team. It will be the ninth Olympic Games that I’ve attended, my fourth as a mentor. I’ve been working with some of the Canadian winter athletes since before the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics and I’ve watched them mature from wide-eyed Olympic rookies to Sr. veterans, multi-medalists and Olympic Champions. They have become fabulous athletes and community citizens: there are so many incredible career champions among them. They now, are the role-models and mentors and I am so proud to have had the chance to work with them.

While in Sochi there is no plan for me to be on TV; I’m not there to be a spokesperson or an analyst. My role is to continue to be part of the Canadian Team’s preparation. Much of what I do is subtle and behind the scenes. All the athletes have access to professional mental performance consultants (often sport psychologists) that help them with specific field of play issues. They have coaches and team mates who are with them and support them daily. The mentoring I do is done in broad strokes; I pop in and out of camps and meetings, I send emails, or we exchange txts. I know I don’t connect with everyone on the team but that’s okay, everyone wants and needs different support and guidance. Often I explain my role like this- I offer to take the horses to water; if they drink, or how much they drink, is up to them. Throughout the year I am one of their many resources.  

When I first started going to the Olympics in this role it was a huge shift for me. To be frank –

Continue reading

Setting and keeping YOUR goals

startOne week into 2014 and, if you’ve set a (or some) resolution(s) you should be 7 days in. Just curious…How’s that going for you?!  Statistics on sticking to New Years resolutions are terrible! Depending on what source you look at – the success rate can be only 5-15%.  Come on! we can do better than that! 

Actually starting a task can be the hardest part – I get it – but personally, I don’t understand why people wait until Jan 1. to begin any goal. Goal-achieving can be hard enough without letting the start of the Gregorian Calendar be what pushes your start button. I believe that using the calendar to inspire action is like using a false friend for a buddy; in a pinch – will they go out of their way to back you up when you need it?  You want to start something? Start it! You want to change something? Change it!

As you progress it should feel as if you are making choices – not sacrifices.

I’m not saying having New Years Resolutions is wrong. I suppose if having a deadline to finish a goal works so well for me, then having a deadline to start a goal can work for others. In either case, I believe the key to success is in the ownership of the goal itself. No goal will be easy to achieve, but if you believe the goal is yours, something you-want-for-you, then the easier it is to stay committed to. (ex. If a child wants to learn/play a sport/instrument then they are far more likely to stay committed to the training than a child whose parents want them to play that sport/instrument. Or… A person has to want to quit smoking for them self first. The goal of quitting because other people want you to, or you think other people want you to is so much harder.  )

  • Did you set a goal just to set it?                                             Really Tough to stick to  
  • Is it someone else’s goal?                                                        Harder to stick to     
  • Did you wait for someone to start/push you?              Hard to stick to
  • Is it your own goal?  (set for and by you)                         Easier to stick to
  • Did you instigate the start and ‘jump in’?                       Easier to stick to    
  • Are you genuinely passionate about the goal?             Practically easy to stick to


The more involvement you have in the initial planning, instigation and performance of a goal the more motivation, commitment and accountability you’ll have as you progress along your goal-achieving path. When that is the case, as you progress it should feel as if you are making choices that will help achieve your goal – not that you are making sacrifices that will ‘ruin your day’. This isn’t exclusive to adults. Too often I hear stories where parents have, with best intentions, taken care of all of the planning, the start date and even a lot of the ‘tricky’ or more challenging elements of a goal/task that belongs to their child and then they wonder why their child has no commitment to it.  Continue reading