Leave Nothing On The Road – Olive Loughnane
My guest this week is 2009 World Champion in the 20km walk, Olive Loughnane. I was very much looking forward to chatting with Olive to get a view into what made her the highly successful champion that she was. So, naturally I was delighted when we connected back in February and she ‘walked’ (sorry) me though her career.
As a big sport fan, with a huge interest in performance psychology and how to get that extra 1%, listening to Olive talk about her gradual improvement over the years, having fierce determination and, of course, never giving up, was a real treat.
During the conversation, Olive shared stories that stood out during her journey and breaks down what the process is and what the key ingredients are to become a world champion. She almost makes it sound possible for the average person!
The topics covered include:
- Being Originally from Cork and moved to Galway at the age of 4.
- Spending school and her degree years in Galway
- Earliest memories linked to the Moscow Olympics in 1980
- Having a fondness and love for the outdoors
- Always being very determined from a very young age
- Starting out in Athletics at the age of 12
- The Value of Volunteers & Influencers along the way
- Cross Country was Olives first big event
- Loving being part of a team
- Having a draw towards the Walk as it was endurance based and technical –
- Meeting Michael Lane – another volunteer and he was a big influence
- Having ‘the Eye of the Tiger’, determination & tenacity
- Sport is as much about the mental tenacity as it is about the underlying physical talents
- Learning to set big Setting Big Goals
- Setting high standards for herself & Control the controllable
- For Olive, Sport Psychology was about taking a step back and relaxing and learning to go with the flow
- Taking Calculated Risk taking
- Being a Statistician and being very analytical in nature
- Nominated Athlete of the Year in Leaving Cert marking a breakthrough point
- Sacrifices didn’t seem so big and the high standards became the norm
- Breaking down the steps taken to qualify for the Olympics
- Logical and Planning
- Breaking the Big goal into Medium goals and then smaller goals
- Making it more manageable
- Gradual building of confidence – short-term
- SMART Goals being applied to getting to the Olympics
- Where the Magic comes in with Goals – Realistic is the part that could be different!!
- Plateaus in the career and dealing with these
- In 2003-5 leaving some of it on the road by overtraining
- Learning that her training plan needed to be managed more
- Working with Sports scientists & listening to the data more
- The Walk was an individual race but a team sport
- Being very lucky to have a team of people around her
- Overcoming from challenges and learning from these
- Having to reach an Olympic standard again within 6 months the birth of her daughter or face a funding cut
- 10 days after having a C-Section starting to train again and full training 6 weeks later
- Getting Burnt out in 2007 after training too hard too quickly
- Still having the belief in 2007 that she could still do this – didn’t matter who believed it
- 2009 training – calming down and finishing 7thin Beijing gave her confidence
- Knowing that the race in 2009 was her day in Berlin total belief this was the day for a medal
- Seeing the calmness as the main difference – here to do the job! Visualization techniques – focusing on the process not the result
- Sport is all about the process – and it is!
- Intuition v Data & Facts
- Control v Letting go with Goals
- Life after retirement working with the high-performance committee of Sport Ireland
- Career convergence with Analytical and Experience
1% Better tips:
- The Value of Volunteers & Influencers along the way
- Focusing on the process – awareness that the pain will come but being ready
- Accepting there would be challenges, expecting them and overcoming them
- Having positive mantras – my last 5km is always my strongest
- Developing a calmness in competition – building awareness
- Controlling the controllable
- Developing a Goal System – using SMART & Heart!
- Setting big long term goals, then medium term goals, then smaller shorter goals
Follow Olive on Twitter – https://twitter.com/OliveLoughnane
Just a quick note to say thanks for listening. There are a lot of podcasts to choose from and you picking this one means a lot to me. I know that sounds like a cheese-ball thing to say, but it’s true! I’m enjoying creating these shows, learning from them and I’m hoping that you are too.
To help me make the show even better, I wand & need your help. Your feedback is essential. So, please take a few minutes to get in touch (links below, or subscribe on iTunes and leave a rating or review).
If you liked this episode, share out the link via one of the socials. It will help me reach a bigger audience. If One Person gets something from the Episode that makes them 1% Better, I’ll be a happy man.
Finally, if you really love the show, and really want me to take it to the next level, I’ve set up a Patreon site where you pledge some financial support. That would be awesome. You will also get exclusive access to upcoming podcasts and article posts that are just for those that are Patreons.
Connect in with Rob on the socials or via email on:
Subscribe to the Rob of the Green Newsletter Here