Sports Psychology Olympics: What Mindset does it Take to Make the Olympic Team?

Jana-Aerials-ActionSports Psychology News: Guess who just made the Olympic Team? Imagine what it would feel like to hear your name announced as part of the USA Olympic team – a moment you’d never forget.

As a sports psychologist, it was great news to hear that Jana Lindsey is going to her second Olympics, this time as a serious medal contender. I’ve worked with her as her performance coach, so I’m very excited for this announcement today. Jana just earned a spot on the USA Freestyle Ski Team, and as she did  in Torino, Italy in 2006. She will once again represent her country in a freestyle aerial Winter Olympics event, this time in Vancouver, Canada.

I was excited to see Jana’s performance at the World Cup event in Lake Placid, N.Y., this past weekend that virtually assured her a spot on the team, and she was relieved to hear her name called as one of the 18 athletes selected for the team Tuesday by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

Jana said “I pretty much knew before the announcement.” “But it was nice to make it official. That’s been my goal the past four years to make the team and have another chance to compete in an Olympic games and have an opportunity to win a medal. So, yes, it’s very satisfying to make it back again.”

“I will need to do perform four of my very best jumps,” Lindsey said. “The competition will be very tough with the Chinese and the Australians and my own teammates, but if I do my very best and what I know I’m capable of doing, there is no reason why I can’t be on the podium.” Jana says she knows it will take her best effort to bring home a medal.

It’s a good step forward that four spots of the available 18 spots on the USA Freestyle Team were awarded to the women’s aerial team, which shows how strong our US team will be. The 18-person squad will represent the U.S. in three separate men’s and women;s disciplines: mogul, aerial and a new event in ski cross, debuting at the Vancouver Winter Games.

This is the first time in a long time that we have had four women qualify for the Olympic team in aerials so it shows the women’s team is getting much stronger. Jana said:  “And while none of us are doing triples as a couple of our competitors are now doing, Lacy and Emily and I are all doing triple twisting doubles in two different jumps and Ashley has one triple twisting double so we think we have a really strong team going to Vancouver and we are excited about that.”

The aerial qualifying jumps take place on Feb. 20 with the finals on Feb. 24.

I will be there on-site of course to watch all of Jana’s ski events and will be reporting to you live from Vancouver for Performing Edge TV.