Olle Lindholm

The mindset of champions

Published 10 months ago • 1 min read

I watched the finale of Champion of Champions.

The TV show follows top Swedish athletes who have won gold in their respective fields.

But physical strength, technique, and stamina were only one part of their success.

An oft-overlooked part of the equation was the mental training required to win... and to keep going.

What set them apart was their champion mindset. But what, exactly, does that mean?

They compete against themselves

The champions defined what winning meant to them. They taught themselves to do the sports for their own sake.

As the ice skater Nils van der Poel said:

"It took a long time for me to value my own performance over the outcome."

To value one's efforts over results is a winning attitude that allows people to grow and learn.

In short: It helps them become the best in the world.

They build their support network

"Go at it alone" is one of those dangerous myths that permeate our culture.

All athletes highlighted their support network as a key ingredient behind their success. Especially those doing solo sports.

(During the show, the champions got messages from their biggest supporters. They all got very teary-eyed when they saw them on the screen. Great TV.)

The lesson: If you want to go quickly, go alone. But if you want to go far, go with a group.

They train their weaknesses but compete on their strengths

Each athlete found their own winning difference by focusing on their strengths. Their quest for personal growth circled back to these questions:

What's my next action? (despite thoughts, feelings, referee, audience, etc)

How can I make myself (and my teammates) better?

They built their careers on what was going well and then continued on that.

Over to you

What counts as a "win" for you? More importantly, do you have the support network to help you get there?

I'm cheering you on. Have a great week!


Olle Lindholm

A Sweden-based author and coach.

Read more from Olle Lindholm

Olle Lindholm Average people lead average lives. You, I’m guessing, don’t want to be average. You want to be great, you believe you can be remarkable. That means you need to take in extraordinary ideas and act on them… without even thinking about it… day in and day out. Read these 15 personal growth books and you’ll become an unstoppable life enthusiast. You’ll become a master. See, every decision you make, every person you let into your life, every moment that goes by… begins and ends with...

6 months ago • 1 min read

Take a moment to think about your habits. Why do you act the way you do? Psychology offers three explanations: Learning by association (classical conditioning): ​Some things we don't need to learn. They're "hard-wired" into our system from birth; we pair a stimulus (e.g. a loud noise) with a response (fear). This learning is often unconscious and happens quickly. Check out Pavlov's dogs if you're curious to learn more. Learning by consequences (reinforcements/punishments): ​Some things...

10 months ago • 1 min read

Hi, how are ya? I've put this newsletter on hold because life has been hectic, but I've missed writing to you. We often experience resistance when we want to pick up creative habits. There's that mental wall that keeps us from showing up. I'm still figuring out what works best for me, but I've identified a few success patterns. Adjust expectations: One thing that works for me is to lower the bar, to make showing up easier. To give myself the room to be "creatively messy". Embrace a...

10 months ago • 1 min read
Share this post