Working at the Olympics

Authored by: Ken Hodge

Routledge Handbook of Applied Sport Psychology

Print publication date:  October  2010
Online publication date:  October  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415484633
eBook ISBN: 9780203851043
Adobe ISBN: 9781136966675

10.4324/9780203851043.ch42

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Abstract

I’ve always been an advocate of personal best times and to come here [the Olympics] and get two of them, I’m really pleased about that. Only about 30% of swimmers come here and do personal best times; so l made it my personal mission to get inside that 30% … I set myself a goal and I was pleased with my performance. It won’t be my last goal .

Danyon Loader (New Zealand swimmer, Olympic medalist [Loader, 1996]) As the quote above from double Olympic gold medalist Danyon Loader indicates, the Olympics are challenging (e.g., only 30% of swimmers post a personal best time); a special type of mental toughness is required to succeed at the Olympics. For most athletes, the four-year Olympic cycle generates a level of importance that defines this sporting festival as their career-culminating event (McCann, 2008). As Haberl and Peterson (2006) concluded, the Olympic “crucible creates unique pressures for everyone involved: athletes, coaches, and support staff.” (p. 29)

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