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Mind of Champ: Kayla Harrison on What it Takes to be the Best
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Mind of Champ: Kayla Harrison on What it Takes to be the Best

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What does it take to be the first American to win an Olympic Gold Medal in Judo? What does it take to beat a Brit to earn that Gold in the London Olympics? 


What does it take to do that a second time, four years later? 


And then, after all that, what does it take to have success as a killer in MMA?


Turns out, it’s a lot. 


In this video, Harrison talks about the mental preparation that went into her 2-time Olympic Gold Medal success (and presumably into her recent bad-ass MMA success too).



All this is no joke. Turns out that to be the best, you have to give yourself not only the best physical preparation, but the best mental preparation too.

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A few things Harrison said in this video were interesting. 


The first is that Harrison didn’t inherently believe that she was the best. And she explained why -- when everyone is training to be the best, how can you be so sure that you’ll come out on top?


To combat this, Harrison had to train herself to believe in herself. By constantly saying to herself that she was the best: Kayla Harrison, Olympic Gold Medalist, she could train herself to do a number of things.


  1. To be comfortable with success. 

By the time her day came, she was not only comfortable with the idea of winning, but viewed it as her right. 


So if Harrison lost, it wouldn’t be because of any self-sabotaging on her part. She knew she would give it all, because that day was hers (both times). 


  1. Everything she did would fit her role. 

She made Olympic Champion her title, and she lived by it. 


If Harrison waited to see if she would win, or even if she trained because she wanted to win (and not to win), her thoughts still would’ve been clouded.


She has no doubt this way. She’s doing what she’s there to do, because she’s Kayla Harrison: Olympic Gold Medalist.


  1.   She couldn’t be surprised.

Since Harrison visualized her Olympic matches every day -- each time with a different fighter and a different ending -- she was prepared for anything that could happen on game day.


This meant Harrison went in knowing she was as prepared, which eliminated that possible worry from her mind, allowing to do what she was there to do.


  1.   She could stay in the moment.

By telling herself, “One grip at a time, one exchange at a time, one breath at a time, one throw at a time,” Harrison forces herself to focus on the little things that actually lead to victory in a match.


Sure, having the overarching belief that you’re worthy of success will help, but that belief is only helpful to make you put in the work it takes to win.


So, Harrison breaks it down so she wins little by little -- first the grip, then the exchange, and ultimately, the match. Rinse and repeat.


It’s amazing that Harrison was able to figure out not only how important mental preparation is, but what strategies worked best for her.


Take any dominant fighter, and it’s a sure thing that they did some, if not all, of these things to rise to the top, whether naturally or consciously.


All of Harrison’s strategies seem to boil down to a central idea: 

That you need to be totally confident in your path so you can focus wholeheartedly on what matters. And what matters is taking all of the little steps that will get you where you want to be.


Taking all of the steps in the most important thing, but being confident that you’re doing what you want to -- and that you’ll get where want to be -- keeps you from straying from the path you’ve chosen.


So, what do you think? Could any of these strategies help you become a champion in your own right?

The Real Judo Chop And Other Favorites by Kayla Harrison

Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison is ready to show you the techniques that helped her become one of the most accomplished combat athletes on the planet! The Real Judo Chop and Other Favorites by Kayla Harrison will increase your success rate with throws, grips, and submissions! Check It out!

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