Olympic athletes not thinking could make all the difference

It's easy to see the pressure to perform the Olympic athletes are facing. Whether it's in the pool or on the pommel horse, one expert says what you think or don't think can make all the difference.

The skills that competitive athletes use to help them perform their best, are life skills we can all use.

"I've been doing gymnastics since I was 4,” says Owen Sipes a Gymnast. “It's a lot of fun, especially learning new skills."

12 year-old Owen Sipes fun turned to frustration after a difficult meet.

"I did okay on the first event and then on high bar I fell four times all on easy skills and I was so upset I just lost it," says Sipes.

Sipes decided to see Douglas Finney, a licensed Clinical Social Worker and Mental Game Coach.

"There's an old saying that practice is 90 percent physical and 10 percent mental, competition is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical," explains Douglas Finney a Mental Game Coach.

Finney helped Sipes change some of his thoughts.

"When you're saying something like I have to do well you are putting stress on yourself,“ says Finney. “I mean you can just change it and say it's my goal to do well and those types of words do not put the same stress on you."

Sipes said breathing techniques and a mantra helped him the most.

"I believe I can achieve,” says Sipes. “I just look in the mirror and I say it 20 times every single day."

Even if you're not a competitive gymnast or an athlete Douglas Finney says that her tips are applicable to anyone in any area of their life.

"For example, I see a lot of students that come in with test anxiety or if you're going for a job interview," says Finney.

Finney's combination for success: "To always focus on what you want, to detach yourself from the outcome, you make an intention you set action steps and that's all you can do you're in control of that you're not in control of the outcome."

Owen Sipes' intention is the 2020 Olympics.

"First year I'm able to go I'm making it,” says Sipes.

Another tip is positive projection. If you visualize yourself nailing the interview or doing the perfect golf swing, it's more likely that you will.

Try not to think about what you shouldn't do. If you dwell on that, it's often more likely to occur.

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