Check out this great article about the work Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, and I have done to prepare her for Rio…
With one performance left on the biggest night of her career, Laurie Hernandez paused, placed her right hand over her belly, and closed her eyes. She inhaled. Paused. Exhaled. She felt her belly expand and contract. She became aware of her breath. And slowly, the anxiety and adrenaline melted away. Then she raised that same arm toward the judges and turned to face the beam.
“I was really calm before beam,” Hernandez said. “I was able to calm myself down and go out there and enjoy the moment.”
It’s a technique that Hernandez learned from sports psychology coach Robert Andrews, who heads Houston’s Institute of Sports Performance and works with three-time world champion Simone Biles.
Watch Hernandez closely before she presents to the judges at each rotation, and there she is: hand over belly, gaze softened yet focused, her shoulders rising and falling with each inhalation. Her pre-routine ritual includes this breathing exercise that calms her right before she goes.
“And I pray,” she said.
Her pre-performance ritual is working. Read more