After the rush of a great conference

IMG_4924Recently I was part of a conference that the Canadian Olympic Committee hosts as part of the Team’s preparation for the Olympics. Other that the fact that most of the attendees are young athletes who are the best in the world at what they do – this conference is no different than the countless conferences that I have had the opportunity to speak at over the last 15 years.

The idea is that a group of people, with similar (not necessarily the same) tasks come together to learn, be inspired, network and with some luck have fun. Talk to anyone who’s just back from something like a TED, Oprah or Incredible Lives Conference and their life is about to change! They are on fire!

Kick starts are amazing – but we can’t expect that kind of rush every day/week/month. Ultimately we need to be our own somebody, our own key note speaker…our own source of inspiration. This month, in my regular message to athletes preparing for the Sochi 2014 Olympic Team, I address that kind of amazing rush and the importance of using the team that is around you (close and far) to help you keep your own fire burning.

The OES Sugar Rush – After the conference

<La version française suit>

The Olympic Excellence Series Conference came to a successful conclusion on May 12th. The feedback that I received directly from you was that you had an awesome time! Inspiration, motivation, team bonding – shared experiences and emotions…wow- what a rush– you are part of a TEAM! What a huge relief. What a huge motivator.

It’s true that when you compete you will, to varying degrees, have to do it alone – but, waiting to begin that performance can be nerve wracking which can be de-railing. That’s why feeling part of a larger TEAM is so comforting and integral to your Olympic preparation. Your TEAM can help keep you on the rails until it’s time for you to do your thing. Continue reading

All Fired Up and Proud

I left the Olympic Excellence Series all fired up and proud. I continue to think of the many messages that resonated with me.

Ray Zahab started things off with such incredible energy! Achieving our goals, he said is “90% mental and the other 10% is in our heads.” His belief in “sweat equity”; that our most rewarding tasks are usually the hardest seemed to strike a chord with the group. Another quote of Ray’s that stuck with me was: “The sum of all our yesterdays brings us to where we are today.”   As Ray dropped himself  onto his little yellow snow sled in the Yukon and contemplated all the ‘good’ reasons and excuses he could give to others for not finishing; he realized the truth that “You are the only person who will know (or care) what happened.” It was enough to get him up and pushing forward. He didn’t want to (or need to) give up on himself.

The Winter Athlete Panel was full of highlights.

“As soon as you put meaning to what you do, there will be stress. You need to be comfortable in that stress.” Alex Bilodeau combats his stress and ‘what if’s’ with his “I Know…” list. Continue reading