Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, known as the fastest man alive and the only sprinter to have won 100-meter ad 200-meter titles at three consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012, and 2016) says racing is a mental as well as a physical sport. This according to a recent CNBC article.
The 34-year-old said, “It’s 50/50. You can be really fit but if you’re not mentally prepared for the challenge ahead, at times you will fail.” He says, “at times you get into your head and start thinking about your weaknesses.” One of his, he explains, is starting a race too quickly. To avoid it, he tries to divert his attention to something else. “I might think about playing video games or what I might have [to eat] after the race.”
Once Bolt is running, he says he experiences a state of flow—often described by athletes as feeling at one with the activity. When this happens, Bolt says it feels like “time is moving slow.” He adds, however, that while these strategies contribute to his success, so does his love of running.
“I enjoyed the process,” he said, “I had fund while doing it. Yes, it was work but for me, it really wasn’t work.”
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