Too many times athletes lose sight of the big picture and become distracted. It doesn’t matter if Amy Van Dyken spits in your lane, Martins Dukurs lays down three great skeleton runs before you, or another team seeking home court advantage wins their final game by a large margin, you can only do your best.
Keep your eyes on the prize and win. The rest will take care of itself. Don’t become consumed with anger, fear, or doubt; don’t let an imbalance of noradrenaline, adrenaline, adrenocorticotropic, or corticotrophin take you out of your zone. Focus on what simple actions must be completed to get quality shots. Execute the little things that can make a big difference.
Don’t lose control and get away from your strengths. Don’t try and do too much. Don’t take a careless risk because you fear failure. Whether it is a thirty-two minute basketball game or a forty-five second skeleton run, you can only do what you do as well as you can.
In skeleton, John Montgomery did his best and won a gold medal. Melissa Hollingsworth lost her focus, control, and silver medal. Physically, skeleton racing is totally different from basketball but mentally they share many common elements. Peak performance under pressure is something that you can control.