How Watching Downhill Skiing Can Help your Job Search

You might never win an Olympic gold medal, but you might be able to steal a move from these remarkable competitors as you watch the winter games.  Here’s what the best athletes in the world know about success.  Apply these principles to your job search and see what a difference they make.

  1.  Visualize success.  Top athletes spend time creating a vision of success.  They see themselves crossing the finish line, breaking records, and standing on the medals stand. They practice racing the course or making the jump over and over in their minds, hundreds of times before they ever board a plane for Vancouver.   According to Wikipedia, Soviet sports psychologists made a serious study of athletes training for world competition.  Those that spent 75% of their time training physically and 25% of their time in intense visualization practice performed better than any of the control groups.  They actually created muscle memory for the movements they needed without performing the movements.  What could visualizing a successful interview and a job offer do for you?
  2. They practice and work hard every day. Not when they’re up for it; not when they feel good about it.  Every day.  They begin with the end in mind (Winter Games 2010) and work out a detailed plan for training every day.  They know what it takes to peak at exactly the right moment – to be on top of their game on the big day.  What could you do today to get your next job?
  3. They worry only about things they can control.  A world-class athlete trains as hard as possible and works on his or her personal best.  They have coaches who help them stay focused on what they need to accomplish, and they don’t worry about things they can’t control: the weather, the competition, the media, or anything else that isn’t part of their game plan. This intense focus on what matters gives them the confidence to perform no matter what’s happening around them.  I heard Nikki Stone, the 1998 gold medalist in aerial skiing, comment that she use to pretend that the Olympics was “just another day of training.”  She finally came to the conclusion that she had it backwards.  “I realized that to succeed, I had to pretend that every day was the Olympics.” There’s no room in her life for a bad practice or slack training day.  If you met your potential employer in chance encounter today, would you be ready?  Would you know what to say and do?

Here’s hoping you’re at your best on game day.

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