(Listen to the excerpt from Valerie Adams here)

“I think if you hand everything to a young athlete they’ll never learn. You actually need that athlete to work for it. It you keep handing them something they just expect it.

But if you let them work for it and they actually have to go through some obstacles, in their sporting life, in their life, and to actually learn how to deal with them, then they’ll be better prepared to deal with big competitions, when other competitors are giving them grief and things like that.

The one thing that I would say is that the mental preparation for an athlete is so important.

To be able to get through any sticky situation that you might be going through, and be able to overcome it mentally, is a lot more powerful that trying to overcome it physically because you’ve done all the work.

Once you get to any high pressure situation it’s all a mental game.”

Catch the full conversation here

160812VAdams_04Dame Valerie Adam is a two-time Olympic and three-time Commonwealth champion and currently holds the New Zealand, Oceanian, Commonwealth and equal World Championship shot put records. She’s also the first woman to win four consecutive individual titles at the world track and field championships.