Striking gold: Mental techniques and preparation strategies used by olympic gold medalists

Vanessa R. Shannon, Noah B. Gentner, Ashwin Patel, Douglas Muccio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Athletes have suggested they use a variety of mental training and preparation techniques in their quest for Olympic glory, including: goal-setting (Weinberg, Burton, Yukelson, and Weigand, 2000), pre-performance routines (Gould, Eklund, and Jackson, 1992a), attentional focus and performance imagery (Orlickand Partington, 1988). However, few studies to date have retrospectively asked Olympic champions what they did to prepare for Olympic gold. The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of Olympic gold medalists' use of psychological skills during preparation for their Olympic gold medal performance. Both team and individual Olympic gold medal winners participated in semi-structured interview sessions. Analyses revealed that all athletes in the current study utilized strategies and techniques previously identified in the literature. Specifically, analyses revealed four major themes: process focus, imagery, self-talk, and goal-setting.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAthletic Insight's Writings of 2012
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781626181205
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2013


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