Lessons from a Downhill Skier

What it takes to achieve excellence, even in the most adverse conditions.

Downhill Skier

Vancouver Winter Olympics, 2010. The world watched the Alpine Skiing Downhill events with a combination of excited anticipation and grave concern. Never before in history had the weather conditions been as extreme, unpredictable or dangerous.

All of the athletes were equally positioned for a win, having worked tirelessly for years to achieve Olympic status. Each had received extraordinary technical training and had extensive experience.

Why then did some skiers finish the course, and even win medals, while others were relegated to a DNF (Did Not Finish) status—many of them crashing and burning on the mountainside?

Alpine skiing is as basic as a sport can be. Best time wins. No side-by-side competition. No judges. No style points. And, yet, it is a death-defying test. With its bone rattling top-speed turns and treacherous terrain, athletes must successfully navigate chutes through rock formations, twisting channels through forests, and launching ramps off mountainsides. They are expertly trained for this.

Add to that, the unpredictable—the adverse and potentially life-threatening weather and ski conditions that wreak havoc on the courses, and reduce a well-trained and prepared athlete to the sum of his instincts.

In the current economic climate, everyone faces similar challenges.

The conditions are extreme and totally unpredictable.

The pressure is on and the stakes are impossibly high.

You, like the Olympic athlete, are in the International spotlight, with extraordinary stress on the outcome of your performance.

And, you only get one shot at the Gold.

The big question: How do Gold Medal Champions prepare for the challenge?

What do they do that is different or extra in order to triumph under the most extreme circumstances?

Without a doubt, having the right coaching, training, and preparation is key. Your “pre-race” routines can make the difference between a highly inspired presentation and one that falls face down in the snow.

Addressing your stakeholders and having the ultimate skill to communicate your vision and intention with the greatest impact is your “Gold Medal” event. The pressure is on, the stakes are high, and the terrain can be dangerous and unstable.

Now is the time avail yourself of the right “pre-race” routines with the most impactful approach to get you ready for the big win.

Take your practice runs to ensure you stay focused, helping you eliminate distractions and maintain energy for the race.

The outcome:

You will cross the finish line having delivered an outstanding performance communicated with power, personality and passion.


“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan.  But when the action starts, you’re down to your reflexes.  That’s where your roadwork shows. 

If you cheated on that in the dark hours of the morning, you’re getting found out now under the bright lights.”                     – Smokin’ Joe Frazier