How to build champions

The "top six inches" is crucial for a championship performance.

No one knows this better than author, exercise physiologist and training consultant Jon Ackland of Performance Lab in Auckland. As he says, good physiology makes a great athlete, but good psychology makes a champion.

Jon has been successfully working with high-performance athletes for 17 years, and recently began using Foresight to test attitudes with the SASQ profiling tool.

"I've worked with world champions and record holders and what stands out with these people is that you have to think a certain way to get a result," says John. "Starting with the basics, if you don't think it can happen, it won't happen.

Jon began using the SASQ with two sportspeople trying to break into the top five nationally — a mountain biker, and a New Zealand representative triathlete.

"We profiled them and then began corrective training, with excellent results. Both athletes accomplished their goals."

A major reason for that, he says, is that mentally tough sportspeople can see the positive, irrespective of outcomes, giving themselves the best chance of success. "The optimists always take the steps that give themselves a chance, while pessimists, through the way they think, are inadvertently the architects of their own downfall.

"It's not a matter of changing anything — it's just about removing the barriers."

Contact the Foresight institute to find out how you can develop a winning attitude

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