This year I was able to attend two days of Rise. Run. Retreat. in Woodstock, Vermont. This annual running retreat is the vision of Sarah Canney, Run Far Girl, blogger, runner, mom, and national snowshoe team member. Part of Sarah’s mission is to bring in speakers who will inspire and motivate retreat attendees.
This year one of the speakers that Sarah invited to speak was Christen Shefshunas, Confidence Coach and Motivational Speaker. Coach Christen has worked with athletes at the Olympic, Collegiate, and Professional Level. She inspires athletes to find and embrace their full potential through Confidence Coaching. Coach Christen was herself a successful collegiate swimmer and then later Head Swimming Coach at the University of Miami.
Coach Christen spoke about her experiences working with both collegiate and Olympic level athletes. She talked about athletes who struggled with confidence when it came time to get on the starting blocks. Those athletes talked themselves into being second best or failing to swim their potential because they allowed their inner monologue to override and control their talent. We all know how easy it is to allow your mind and what you tell yourself to take over and to affect athletic (and life) performance.
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My biggest takeaway from Coach Christen’s Talk was this acronym: W.O.L.F. The W stands for WAKE UP. This means to acknowledge your thoughts both negative and positive. The O is for OWN IT. Own your thinking no matter what-if you tell yourself “I’m afraid I will fail” then you need to own that. the L is for LOOSEN. This means to find a way to loosen up. This can be done through breathing, by clenching your fists and releasing, whatever works for you to loosen. The F is for FLIP IT and Focus on Your Truth. This means to flip your thinking onto something more positive.
When we get to the starting line as runners all different things can run through your mind. By using W.O.L.F. you are able to create confidence by creating a shift in your mindset. This can also work during a race too as it did for me at the Wallis Sands Half Marathon. I used the ‘F’ to Flip my thinking when all of my thoughts began to turn negative and I was able to pull myself out of that thinking. I challenge you to try this method of building your confidence and seeing what happens.
Coach Christen also gave us each some of her “Confidence Nuggets” which are bracelets that each have one gold nugget which represents confidence in yourself for having what you consider to be a success. Each bracelet has a different meaning. Mine is “I am strength!”