When competing, and especially when you have an animal as a teammate, it is essential to have balance in your life. Otherwise, you won't be able to perform at your best, Ole Einar Bjørndalen says in the newest episode of our podcast, "Unleashed."
He has impressed the world with his abilities to handle challenges and pressure. Throughout his 25 years as an athlete, Ole Einar won 13 medals in the Olympics, 45 medals in World Championships, and had 95 individual World Cup wins in Biathlon. He has also competed in skijoring for fun.
- When I started to work with mental coaches in the 90s, my colleagues worked 90 % with the sport and 10 % with their private life. I started doing the opposite.
That had a massive impact on Ole Einar's results. In the podcast episode, Ole Einar explains what helped him become one of the greatest winter sports athletes of all time.
Don't be afraid to say what you need
Emotional stability is essential. To get to that point, you need to take control over your own life and what you choose to surround yourself with.
- Media and people can cost a lot of energy. Everyone wants a piece of you. The moment you start losing energy, you need to stop. Explain to the people around you that you need to rest or team up with someone that can say it for you. You have to protect yourself. The only loser in a situation like this is you.
The importance of a good team
You need a strong team to succeed. Surrounding yourself with the right people is essential.
Who this team consists of can be out of your control sometimes.
- If they are not good, you have to make them great!
Make a plan - sign it!
Ole Einar was one of the first athletes in Norway to get a mental coach. He worked with Øyvind Hammer for several years.
- One of the routines we had was planning every single race. We discussed every detail in advance, then wrote down an agreement that I signed. When you sign something, you need to keep your promises!
At the Olympics in Nagano in 1998, Ole Einar's mental strength was put to the ultimate test.
Hear more about that incident and how the written agreement helped Ole Einar through one of the biggest challenges of his career in the episode of "Unleashed."