What motivates people to step beyond their normal level of performance? What motivates Olympians to snatch the gold when other narrowly miss the mark? Much can be learned about how the mind body connection works for outstanding performance from the USA shooting team.
The USA shooting team come from Colorado Springs, about an hour away from the sad and disturbing Batman cinema massacre. Now you may think that these 2 things are not connected. And you may think that a tragic disaster has no impact for triggering an excellence in performance.
But strangely enough this USA shooting team that have snatched 2 Gold medals at the London Olympics with an interesting story behind their gold medal wins.
The story tells of the power of the mind. The power of how the mind directs action. How the mind body connection is something that each one of us would benefit from understanding for the better.
Tim Reynolds reported that the team:
So far in London, American shooters have won two gold medals. But since the team arrived questions have kept coming about Aurora, Colo., and the rampage on July 20 that left 12 dead and 58 others wounded. Along with that is the renewed debate about gun control in the country.
So the USA shooters are not turning up at the Olympics with just the sound of performing their best in their minds, something greater than that is running through the team.
At the Olympic shooting venue, it’s a particularly sensitive topic. American shooters in London are hoping success on their sport’s biggest stage can serve as a reminder of what they find so compelling about their game.
“There always is something positive,” said Kim Rhode, the Olympic women’s skeet champion and first U.S. athlete to win an individual medal in five straight Olympics.
“I mean, shooting is something that teaches responsibility, discipline, focus,” she added. “And this is a sport and it’s sad when those lines get blurred with media and news, with someone that was obviously very disturbed. And, you know, hopefully we just continue on the positive path and just keep showing and teaching others.”
How the mind body connection works with passon
The team turn up at the Olympics with a passion for a sport they love, enjoy and put endless hours of practice into – but this passion is under question because a tragedy that their sport has been wrongly aligned with.
Their character and what they stand for is under question within the understandable media frenzy of the tragedy caused by a ‘very disturbed’ man.
How many times have you had a passion or a belief in something, and then for whatever reason people start to look down on you, and say that you you have a passion for is not worthwhile? And that what you stand for is not worth while?
What do you do? What does your mind run away with and start saying to you? Do you question and doubt yourself? Do you start believing that what others are saying is right and what you believe in is wrong?
If this takes place what kind of connection do you think your mind and body creates? Do you think it creates an improved performance in tasks, jobs and actions or do you think it creates your off-days, your down right ‘not worth getting out of bed’ days too?
For USA Shooting, what happened in that midnight showing of the latest Batman film hit particularly close to home.
“It’s unfortunate when a tragedy like this happens and society immediately creates a link to the shooting sports and to sportsmen and enthusiasts in general,” USA Shooting spokesman Kevin Neuendorf said. “The 20 USA Shooting athletes (in London) represent class and distinction in every way. They weep for the victims and pray for their families. In times of tragedy, it’s important to remember that there is no correlation.”
Those who came to the London Games from Colorado say they’re not just representing their country at this Olympics, but their state as well.
“I will do everything in my power to make Colorado proud,” Ritzel said.
So a level of doing an action for a mourning peoples, for a state that needs positive recognition, an intention to serve a people so close to home in your heart that your mind dedicates your words, deeds and actions not for your own personal ends but for beyond the sake of them all.
Even swimming gold medalist Missy Franklin, a Colorado native, who remains rattled by the Batman shootings said:
“(In) every single race I’m going to have that Colorado incident back on my mind.”
Has this tragedy brought an extra-level of doing things for a larger purpose to the Colorado based Olympians? When the mind is directed with the power of unswerving intention it’s awe inspiring to see how the mind body connection works with precision, excellence and exceptionalness.
The mind directs the body. The chatter in the mind gets in the way and makes the body fumble and faulter. And yet a clear, strong based and unquestionable intention cuts through and ignores all chatter seeing it as inconsequential.
The Olympic Gold Medal
Is the Olympic gold medal simply the recognition of the Golden intention in the heart of an Olympian that has a mind body connection that is unfaultering?
The deep felt words of these Golden Olympians seem to reverberate clearly, not in respect of simple patriotism but in something larger and deeper in scope. How often do everyday people find themselves attending to anything with such intent.
Ask yourself your own questions? What am I doing this for? Do you have an intent so large, a cause that you are willing to put everything on the table for?
Even if you have, simply thinking it is not enough – you need to feel it on a core level and let it sink deep into your mind and heart – and I’m sure the Gold Medal Olympian in you will enter centre stage not for your glory but something far bigger than any ‘self-centred mind’ could ever fathom.
It’s a wonderful world we live in. The riches of the moments we can share are always available. Tragedies are tragedies, but we can always choose to stand-in the shoes of a shrunken victim or step up to the plate and stand for something bigger and better.
I for one am moved and inspired by these US Olympians – and feel blessed at the opportunity to learn from the examples these guys are setting. I think it’s time for a set of new trainers!
Here’s how you can step up too…
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