Posts by Shannon Thompson

TWO YEARS: PART TWO – STRUGGLING ATHLETES

This article is the second part of a series, which summarizes my observations following two years as a mental performance consultant. The first component, “The Best Athletes,” explored the commonalities I’ve witnessed among those who consistently perform well. The final installment will cover effective and ineffective coaching strategies. This article, which highlights commonalities of athletes…
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TWO YEARS: PART ONE – THE BEST ATHLETES

As spring arrives between bouts of snow, over and over again here in Flagstaff, my two-year “anniversary” as a full time mental performance consultant approaches. I feel moved to reflect on what I’ve learned, in particular the patterns I’ve noticed, among the most and least successful athletes that I’ve encountered. This will be the first…
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WORDS MATTER

Of all of the topics that comprise the psychology of running, there’s one that captures my interest the most: the moment of highest exertion. By this I mean the point of greatest discomfort that must be maintained (and often increased) when running workouts, and when racing. My Masters thesis focused specifically on the moment of…
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WELCOMING DISCOMFORT

“The demon you can swallow gives you its power. The greater life’s pain the greater life’s reply.” – Joseph Campbell One of the most enjoyable aspects of working as a specialist in any field is the opportunity to learn and experiment with new strategies. The approach that is currently at the forefront of my mind…
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CONSIDERING CONFIDENCE

“I need to believe.” There was an edge to her voice that concerned me. This athlete was bound for the Olympic Trials. Her personal best was second to only one other in the race. Yet, she felt tormented by doubt. We looked at the facts: her race results were the most impressive they’d ever been.…
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POSITIVE STRESS: THE CHOICE OF CHALLENGE

“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” -Shakespeare Many of you reading this article are doing so between the completion of one task, and the beginning of another. In fact, you might be hurrying, skipping a sentence or two, and feeling a little stressed about the length of time that…
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