US Track & Field Olympic Trials – Comments to Ponder

Take a moment and read some quotes from our Olympic Trials. (Most are excerpts from the USATF website where there are many more.) As you read, think about what messages you gain from them. Leave your thoughts on any themes you find. How does what they say apply to your running or even the grander scheme of life? I’ll be reflecting on some of these here in the future.

“Since 2004, there was always a little hope in me. I knew there was that fast girl in there somewhere. That’s what kept me going,” Kara Goucher on the 10000. “Four years ago was probably ground zero for me. I ate a lot, gained a lot of weight. It was a low time, but obviously something was still there. There were times when I asked myself, ‘am I crazy?’ It never totally went away. I kept trying and kept coming back. When I moved here (to Oregon), it was a fresh start. I was more nervous for this race than the 10K. I just knew it was going to hurt. The crowd makes you feel so good here. I don’t want to race anywhere else after this.” Kara Goucher 1st in 5000

“They dropped me with three or four laps and there was that moment where I doubted myself. With 600 to go I just told myself I can do this. I just dug it out and gave it all I had.” Amy Begley – 3rd in 10000

“Fifteen minutes into warm-ups, I thought I had butterflies, but 30 minutes before the race I came inside and relaxed. In the race my right side kept tightening up. I had to dig deep with everything I had to finish in the top three. I just kept telling myself to do what has worked best for me the last two years. The last 1,000 meters I ran my style of race and it worked out well. That’s really when the race started for me.” Matt Tegencamp – 2nd in 5000

“I have a lot of confidence and have had great coaches all along. I keep working on it and it all adds up. The hard ones are not always glamorous, but I like the process. I always thought I would be good. I don’t mean that to sound conceited, but I do this because I think I’m good at it and I like it.” Ian Dobson – 3rd in 5000

“I’m not going to sleep tonight, because I’m worried I’ll wake up and it won’t have really happened. With about 800 meters left I got really nervous and overwhelmed, because the crowd was so into it. It almost made it harder. I kept trying to tell myself it’s just another race, it’s not the Olympic Trials, but it is the Olympic Trials and it means so much. I’m really proud of my effort. I thought it was courageous to go out front at the start. I knew an American record would get broken tonight and I’m glad I helped get it there with the pace.” Jennifer Barringer – 3rd in Steeplechase

On what this means heading into her senior season at Michigan State: “It’s confidence and experience. It all comes down to experience.” On pre-race talk with Anna Willard, event winner: “She is so nice, easy to talk to, personable. We joked about the ‘boringness’ the waiting. In the end, you don’t say good luck. It doesn’t come down to luck. You say ‘have fun.'” Nicole Bush – 4th in Steeplechase (Won’t be going to Olympics.)

“My coach kind of had said with three laps to go let’s just lay it out there. That last 100 I fell apart a little bit. I gave it a go and I’m on another (Olympic) team. I am pretty pleased. I am a little bummed out. I think my heart is really in the 5K and I think I let some emotions get to me. I think I have been really in control emotion-wise this whole time. I think I let my emotions overtake me a little bit. I really laid my heart out there on the track tonight. I just didn’t have enough in that last 50 to 100 meters tonight.” Shalane Flanagan – 3rd in 5000

“I tried to prepare myself for a break-away. Mentally, I was okay. My body just wouldn’t respond, so I started running defensively. I just didn’t have it. It happens.” Lauren Fleshman – 4th in 5000 (Won’t be going to Olympics.)

“I got out and ran aggressively like I always do. Whether that meant finishing dead last with dead legs or finishing first with dead legs. Luckily, it was first. You have to forget if you’re going to die, because you know you’re going to run the first mile in 4:20. When there were two laps left I still had more left in the tank. I know Josh McAdams is a strong runner and that he would try to kick near the end. That’s why I went out fast, to try to take the kick out of some of the younger guys. I’m very happy to be representing the best of the United States.” Anthony Famiglietti – 1st in Steeplechase

“We knew Anthony [Famiglietti] was going to take it from the gun like he did in the prelims. That is the way he races. You run within yourself. That was the plan was just to sit back and work your way up slowly. Don’t go out too hard. First with the head and then with the heart. That is what I had to do. Run within myself and then, those last two or three laps, just let go. That is what I did.” Joshua McAdams – 3rd in Steeplechase

“You never stop learning in your life. You are going to have ups and downs. One this is true, you can never give up your dreams because dreams become true.” Jorge Torres 3rd in 10000

“The whole way, all three races, I stayed on the rail. I made a hard move with 250m to go. I wanted to close that last 200. I was out in lane three coming down the backstretch for the final time. I moved out way far, outside in lane three and just lifted as I hard as I could, not letting up at all.” William Leer – 4th in 1500 (Won’t be going to Olympics.)

So, what do you think?

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About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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One Response to US Track & Field Olympic Trials – Comments to Ponder

  1. Hugh Browne says:

    Great, a bunch of us are going to Beijing, we can’t wait!
    Join our group and share the Dream.

    http://www.olympiconenessdream.com

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