Some of the world’s best athletes reveal how their daily psychological approaches can help develop your own mental strength in the new podcast series Mind Set Win – that launched on January 19 – with hosts Cédric Dumont and Kate Courtney helping to lift the lid on how mental techniques used by top athletes, coaches and managers can unlock performance in day-to-day life.
In Episode 16, Swiss athlete Ryf explains how she resets mentally, enabling her to overcome negative thoughts and always finish strong with fellow global stars Sam Sunderland, Dario Costa, Christian Horner, Airton Cozzolino, Mutaz Barshim, Leonardo Fioravanti, Lindsey Vonn, Marcus Kleveland, Mario Gómez, Courtney, Justine Dupont, Ben Stokes, Armand Duplantis, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Lucy Charles-Barclay also opening up in Season One episodes.
Not just content with hearing fascinating stories, Belgian Dumont and American Courtney also outline practical tips for listeners to take away into the real world.
– In Episode 16, Ryf discusses having the ability to successfully manage her negative thoughts which has helped her dominate the sport of IRONMAN and win the most prestigious race on the calendar, the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, five times.
– Ryf remembers one famous moment when, just minutes before setting off for the 3.8km swim at the World Championships in 2018, a severe jellyfish sting under her arm put her in a state of disbelief and caused so much pain she was not sure if she would be able to finish the first leg.
– She switched focus from winning the race for a fourth time to taking it one kilometre at a time to the finish line and wrapped up a new course record of 8:26:18 in the process.
– The 35-year-old says, “You need a lot of mental strength to dial your thoughts, as your mind is responsible for how the body reacts. One negative thought can ruin your day and one positive thought can also save your day.”
– In Episode 15, double Dakar Bike champion Sunderland reveals how a mindset developed around finding his sweet spot enables him to perform at his best level. The 33-year-old explains, “I think for me the only way to do that is to get into a state of calmness. If my excitement is too high, my performance goes down, if my excitement isn’t enough, my performance goes down. I need to be in a happy medium.”
– In Episode 14, pioneering pilot Costa shares the journey behind the world’s longest underground flight in Istanbul that he achieved in September 2021 with the historic 44-second flight through two tunnels pushing him to explore his limits and go far beyond his comfort zone. He comments: “When you’re part of something pioneering, your mindset has to completely change. Where before you were following rules, now you have to help create rules.”
– In Episode 13, Oracle Red Bull Racing Team Principal and CEO Horner shares his philosophy on the importance of intrinsic motivation. He reveals, “My view has always been that if you enjoy what you do, you’ll do it that much better. So it’s not just about it being a job, it has to be a passion, it has to be a desire, and there has to be a hunger and determination to want to succeed.”
– In Episode 12, Italian Cozzolino provides a simple message to his fans and community back home: “Never stop dreaming” and reveals what may seem like a throwaway motivational quote forms a mindset that has been crucial in propelling him from the small African island of Cape Verde to becoming a five-time kitesurfing world champion.
– In Episode 11, Qatari Barshim talks about his Olympic and World success but it was not all plain sailing as the 31-year-old relives how the roar of the crowd turned to silence as he began his run-off at a meet in Hungary in 2018 when as he planted his left foot, there was a snap and a doctor told him his chance of recovery to ever jump at elite level again could be as low as one percent.
– In Episode 10, Fioravanti describes how he makes choices out on the water in World Surf League competitions, his mindset when travelling to new destinations and how to react when caught in the middle of a formidable wave. He reveals, “You have to put yourself in those positions many times before you’re confident you won’t get frustrated and start to make bad choices as you’re acting on emotions.”
– In Episode Nine, speed queen Vonn explains how she endured many significant injury setbacks that required all her resilience and mental strength to overcome with one technique that helped her was to refer back to her ‘why’ and what her purpose was for doing it in the first place.
– In Episode Eight, Kleveland shares how listening to music has helped him thrive when the pressure is really on. The 23-year-old reveals, “When I’m under pressure, I feel like I always do better. Right now the level of snowboarding is insane. I’m always scared every single day. You just have to make yourself believe you can do anything.”
– In Episode Seven, Gómez talks about going from being everyone’s darling to being hated by fans the next and that by only accepting perfection is impossible and failure is as much a part of anyone’s success story as the moments of glory, was he able to silence the negativity.
– In Episode Six, rider Courtney explains how she adopts a mantra to help her focus on each race. She reveals her ‘accept and commit’ mantra, “That persistent mindset of just day in and day out, day in, day out, day in, being dedicated to what it takes to make those incremental steps, I would say, has been my greatest strength in my career.”
– In Episode Five, French surfer Dupont admits to feeling nerves while waiting for a big wave to hit. A technique she has learned to be more connected with her senses. She says, “I can feel the temperature of the water. I can taste the salty taste. I can see the colour of the wave and hear the birds. I am just focused on being in the moment.”
– In Episode Four, England cricket captain Stokes reveals how talking about his vulnerabilities has helped shape his career as a leader. He says, “I am what I am. I just be me. People will love me, people will hate me, but at least, I’m confident that I’m giving the best account of myself and not trying to live up to anybody’s expectations.”
– In Episode Three, Olympic pole vault champion and world record holder Duplantis outlines how he developed a growth mindset. He reveals, “There’s just an infinite amount of ways to just get better in every single little aspect of what I do. And if I can improve my mental strength just by these little amounts, then it causes huge differences.”
– In Episode Two, 2023 Australian Open finalist Tsitsipas describes how to find your flow state and perform at your best. He reveals, “Everything made sense. You’re not playing with your skill anymore, you’re playing with your soul.”
– In Episode One, England’s Ironman 70.3 world champion Charles Barclay reveals how she finds and maintains high levels of motivation. She says, “Having got injured at the beginning of the year, everyone said ‘she’s never gonna come back as good as she was…’ and, actually, all of that external noise… It just motivated me.”
– Californian co-host Courtney is perfect to talk on these issues after becoming the first American woman in almost two decades to win a cross-country (XCO) mountain bike World Championship title in 2018.
– The 2019 UCI MTB World Cup champion and Olympian is also a Stanford graduate with a Human Biology degree and a speaker and writer featured in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
– BASE jumper and skydiver Dumont revealed: “Developing your mental attitude can be quite easy to understand, but very difficult to apply. Mind Set Win aims to help people gain the confidence and courage to take action. I believe everyone can get better at what they do.”
– Earlier in his long, successful career, the 50-year-old was so fascinated with how to improve his own resilience and mental strength that he completed a degree in High-Performance Psychology.
– He added: “We have a tendency to mystify high achievers and think they aren’t like us, but sometimes they also have self-doubt, hesitation, fear, stress, anxiety and lack self-confidence. They will take action, though, to get closer to their dreams, and that’s something we can learn.”
Listen to the new ‘Mind Set Win’ podcast HERE