How To Go From Good to World Class – A Peak Performance Cautionary Tale

GaetonBoucherFew athletes do any sports training long or hard enough to discover how good they could truly be.

Most athletes are training at 60% capacity and think they are working too hard.

Here’s a typical example…

In 1979, Canadian speed skater Gaeton Boucher decided he was going to win a gold medal at the 1980 Olympics.

He said, ‘My improvement between 1975 and 1976 was so great that I started to dream more.

I decided I would make it slowly to the top in 1977 and 1978. Then I would win in the World Championships in 1979. My dream was to win 5 golds at the 1980 Olympics.’

That summer, Gaeton went to to train with U.S. skating star Eric Heiden. It was in this training that he got the biggest surprise of his career.

He recalls:

‘Heiden started with a 10,000 metres warm-up of skating imitations. I had never seen skating imitations before. You run in a skating position (bent over). Ten thousand metres is 25 laps.

He was warming up and he was going fast!

I stopped after 20 laps. My legs were hurting, and that was just a warm-up! Then he did a 5000, 1500 and 1000 all at maximum speed, just like a race.

We took 5 to 10 minutes of rest to recover a little bit and he said, ‘Okay, I am doing a 5000.’

I followed him and I stopped after 3000 metres.

At this point, Gaeton had a life-changing epiphany. In his own words:

‘I thought, ‘I cannot beat him, he is going to win,’ because his training was so much harder. I thought I was training as hard as I could, then I saw this guy train even harder…that gave me the idea I could go beyond.’

Boucher was right. Eric Heiden went on to win 5 gold medals at the 1980 Olympics.

But Boucher soon fulfilled his own dream: in 1984 he won two gold medals in speed skating, become one of the finest athletes Canada has ever produced.*

To go from very good to world class as an athlete, you need dramatically increase the quality of your effort in training.

Right now, you’ve developed ways of sports training that are familiar to you, ways that you KNOW you can handle.

In fact, the way you train probably shows off your strengths.

To make the jump to world class status, I suggest you get aggressive about shoring up your weaknesses.

“I’d Never Do That Much Work”

When I was 18, I wanted to make the jump from National Champion to World Champion in my sport.

I put together an elaborate binder that included:

  • A 21 page essay on how I could improve my skills
  • Monthly, weekly and daily fitness regimens
  • Goals for shooting sessions and practices
  • Mental toughness training strategies for each week

The binder was my Bible until I was named captain of Team Canada ten years later.

I kept my binder a secret until a talented young player asked me for help making the National Team. She studied it and finally confessed, “It looks great, but to be honest, I’d never do that much work.”

At this point, the choice is yours. Success has a price; if you resolve to pay it, you too can be successful. But, this price must be paid in full, and it must be paid in advance.

The only question is, Are you willing to pay it?

Now, quality training to improve your skills is only part of the puzzle to catapulting yourself into the upper echelons of your sport.

You obviously also need to know how to perform under pressure — when it counts.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying just about every imaginable idea for in sport psychology…

And guess what?

Some of these ideas were good, but just as many were pretty bad.

Many of them didn’t work at all.

Most of them felt superficial and theoretical.

After experimenting with all this stuff for a very long time, I started to realize that “messing about” or “dabbling” in mental training just wasn’t going to work.

I had to make a commitment to approach sports mental training and competing differently. I had to realize that to be mentally tough, I had to develop ACTUAL mental skills. While this doesn’t mean spending extra time – because you develop
mental skills in training and competition – it meant understanding exactly HOW to become more mentally tough every time I competed.

In my “ADVANCED Courage to Win in Sport” 30 Day Home Study Program, I spend several HOURS teaching you this very special perspective and understanding… so that you will have the mental edge while no one else has any idea what’s going on.

I highly recommend you download my “Advanced Courage to Win in Sport” 30 Day Home Study Program. It is filled with hundreds of concepts and step-by-step instructions for bringing out your best under pressure consistently.

Go here to get the details, click here.

If you’re just getting started in mental toughness training, then I highly recommend that you go download my online ebook “The Courage to Win In Sport: Perform Your Best Under Pressure.” It’s a great introduction to my main concepts, and it contains dozens and dozens of great ideas for

performing flawlessly when it counts. You can download it now, and be reading it in just a few minutes. Download it here.

I’ll talk to you again soon.

Light it up out there,
Lisa B.

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About the Author

Lisa Lane BrownLisa Brown is the founder of the Courage to Win and is considered the world's leading expert on deep mental toughness for success in career, love, and sport. She has personally coached over 7,200 achievers to new heights and conducted over 1,300 live seminars on mental toughness across North America. She has been featured by major media including the New York Times and Entrepreneur Magazine, who called the Courage to Win “a straight-forward guide to success, highly recommended.”View all posts by Lisa Lane Brown →