Now that the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are over and our favourite Olympians have returned to their homes, we should seize the opportunity to listen to their stories and discover how they reached their goals. They may seem to have superhuman powers but we should remind ourselves and our students that they are ordinary people with exceptional abilities and great discipline and determination. Without hard work their natural talent would often not be enough thereby making them motivational sources in our own life and our students’ education. Talk about their stories, analyse their results, and find the common features in their approaches to mental and physical training. Think about the following questions with your class: how do they approach their goals and organize their schedule? How do they stay motivated and who helps them achieve their objectives? Ask your students what they think they can learn from their favourite Olympians and how they can use their techniques in their own lives.
Today we look at five techniques and methods, and we would like to share with you. Do collect more ideas and share them with us.
1 A team you can trust
Olympians never prepare on their own, they have coaches, psychologists, dietitians, and of course their friends and family who support them. Remember that a good coach/trainer/teacher/mentor can give you advice and reflect on your progress and achievements.
2 Set a goal and visualize it
Olympians make a decision four years before the Olympic Games and start preparing for their races. They know what their objectives are, and they dare to have big dreams. They often say that they visualize it to make it look and feel more like reality.
3 Consistency and routine
You need a good plan and a tough approach to follow your schedule. Waking up early in the morning, going to training sessions even if you are not well, feeling aches and pains, getting tired and frustrated are natural feelings on the way. Olympians stick to their schedule, and their team and belief in their goals help with this.
4 Believe in yourself
Olympic champions wouldn’t be able to set goals and follow a schedule if they did not believe in themselves. Sometimes they need the help and support of their friends and families to push them through hard times when they lose faith or things become difficult.
5 Fail and start again
You cannot succeed and improve without making mistakes and failing. World records and Olympic medals never come naturally. Remind your students, that Olympians might lose a race, but they gain lots of experience, and the real winners turn their losses into sources of knowledge and motivation. There are several stories of Olympians who felt beaten four years ago in London, and they managed to break world records and win gold medals four years later. Just because you do not succeed for the first time or someone says you are not good enough, it does not mean they are right. Listen to the people who support you and train very hard.