The winners thinking

High performance requires deep thoughts that lead to the acceptance of one’s anxiety and any emotional state the athlete may be in.

Here are some examples of great Italian champions:

Giovanni Pellielo (shooting, 4 Olympic medals, 4 world golds)

The last series of selection was the heaviest; I scored zero on the penultimate target in the first platform, and I finished with twenty-three. It was the series where I suffered the most because I had to achieve the result in difficult conditions and with a very high emotional load, as I was the man who had already won two Olympic medals. Let’s say that on that occasion, all the ghosts came to mind; it was difficult to close that result, but I did it. Then I thought about the final, referring to the baggage of four years of experience, and I relived everything I had done in the last year in terms of preparation, especially psychologically, so as to face the final as I wanted and desired.

Valentina Vezzali (6 Olympic golds)

I have great respect for the opponent to the point of trembling like a leaf before the start of each competition. When there are ten minutes left until the match, it feels like going back to the high school graduation exam. I feel the same anguish.

Jannik Sinner (tennis, 1st Italian to win a Grand Slam tournament in 48 years)

Under pressure? Nothing compared to that of a surgeon or a head of the family who has to put dinner on the table. Maintaining a family or not knowing if a rocket is going to hit your house, that’s pressure. Playing tennis is a privilege, something to feel honored about.

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