Many of you may know this already, but I am an Olympic hopeful – in the sport of curling. Four years ago, for the Vancouver Olympics, I played 3rd for the Heather Rankin curling team and we finished in the top 16 in Canada. This time around for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, we fell just shy of making it into the final 18.
As I sit back watching the curling in Sochi, I think about what is different with the Jen Jones and Brad Jacobs Team Canada curling teams and the teams I’ve played on and led. Born and raised in Winnipeg, I’ve chummed around and competed against skip Jen and 2nd Jill Officer from Team Canada for the last 18 years. And from Team Canada’s men’s curling team – the 3rd Ryan Fry and I played together when competing in the Manitoba mixed provincials several years ago.
So what makes these Olympic heroes different from the rest of us? I believe that Olympians are regular people like you and me. What they have done is made a conscious decision about doing something extraordinary in order to realize something extraordinary – they did something different in order to get a different result.
Our team has tried the following tactics in the past to raise our performance levels:
- Setting SMART goals
- Working with a personal trainer for physical training and preparation
- Working with a sports psychologist
- Working with a nutritionist
- Throwing rocks (practicing) every day
- Practicing as a team, working on-ice and off-ice
These are just some of the things that it takes to reach the dreams we’ve set out for ourselves as curling athletes.
I’m a strong believer that if you have a dream, you should reach for the stars and follow it. The keys to success are:
1. You need to be fully committed, heart and mind, to go after what you want.
2. You need to be prepared to do something extraordinary to achieve the extraordinary results.
3. You need to know that it may not always be easy, you might get uncomfortable and be challenged like you’ve never been challenged before.
4. And you need to remember to enjoy the journey on your way to greatness.