The Monday Morning Motivator | Olympic Coach Michelle Leigh Shares How To Develop a Champion

Have you ever wondered what differentiates an athlete at the Olympics? Why do some athletes go on to Olympic gold while others even more talented, seem to struggle? 

This week’s podcast is with Canadian Olympic Coach Michelle Leigh. She shares 3 key elements she has discovered created Olympic champions.

Michelle’s professional accomplishments include coaching world class athletes including Elvis Stojko, Yakeshi Honda & Jennifer Robinson. In addition to her Olympic coaching, Michelle has coached at the World Championships and the Canadian Championships.

Michelle shared that the role of a coach is to understand the athlete’s strengths and weakness and to create a game plan to achieve the goal. The real key is understanding motivation. As Michele explains, “these are normal people with hopes, insecurities, talents and goals.  Not everyone will become a champion in their sport, but the skills they are developing in life will help them become a champion in life.”

Michelle has seen 3 common elements with the athletes that become true champions; 

1. Commitment.

2. Talent.

3. A Desired Goal.

Michelle shared one other key element, the ability to deal with disappointment, failure and criticism. “Many people thought that Elvis Stojko had the wrong body type, height and appearance to excel in his sport, however I felt that criticism motivated him to prove to others that he was a champion.”

One final piece of advice that Michelle shared is belief. As you have probably noticed our Olympic Campaign slogan is “‘I believe’ All the talent and commitment without belief is all for naught. A coach lets you borrow belief from them until you start believing in yourself. This is not false belief; I know when I see a winner. My role as a coach is to get them to catch up to themselves.” I have also witnessed this in my work as a career coach and in great managers: they show their belief in your potential, and through your discipline and drive you “borrow” this and go on to win. 


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I believe, along the road with you!




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