My favorite story of the 2012 London Olympics is when a commentator recounted that during the 2008 Beijing Games, Michael Phelps dived in for the 200 metres butterfly and his goggles filled with water yet he swam blind to a new world record.
Can’t see? No worries – because Michael’s coach, Bob Bowman, would find ways to throw him into adversity during practice so that in times like this he could handle anything. Michael would swim his practice laps without goggles and he learned to count the number of strokes to the finish. And that’s exactly what he did in this race.
“The higher the level of pressure, the better Michael performs. As expectations rise, he becomes more relaxed… That’s what makes him the greatest.” says Coach Bowman.
How about you? When you prepare for your pitches, meetings and presentations where the stakes are incredibly high, what can you do in your practice to be ready to handle adversity no matter what happens?
Have fun “counting your strokes.”