Fueling The Pursuit

4x Olympic Gold Sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross on Training Your Mind and the Importance of Support

Episode Summary

We talk with 4-time Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross on competing in high pressure moments, the benefits of working with sports psychologists, and creating a supportive environment that leads to success.

Episode Notes

“I just always had these mini-goals. So it wasn't about where I would be in 2012 after 2008. It was, ‘Okay, this is 2009. How can I get mentally tougher? How am I going to win this world championship? How am I doing in practice from week one to week two?’ Those are the things we have to be very mindful of. It's making your small goals feel as good as the big goals.”

Our guest this week is Sanya Richards-Ross, a 4-time Olympic gold medalist, the American Record holder for 400 meters and so much more.

It’s not everyday you get to speak with a modern day wonder woman, but that’s exactly what we got to do today in speaking with Sanya! She’s not only one of America’s greatest sprinters, she’s just a really cool person. This conversation has it all: we talk about her past Olympic experiences as well as the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, the importance of mental training and the role it played in her gold medal performance in the London Summer Olympic Games, and the impact a mother and father can have when they’re all-in on their children’s dreams. 

Timestamped Show Notes

(4:42) Does commentating at the Olympic Trials bring back specific memories?

(7:19) “I take my hat off to her for being able to balance it all because I always say being an athlete is such a selfish job… it's always all about you all the time. The more you take care of yourself, and people focus on you, the better you do. But when you're a mom, it's the opposite; it's all about focusing on somebody else and putting them first.”

(8:53) How to prepare for the high pressure of the Olympic Trials…

(11:11) The impact of a sports psychologist…

(12:25) Being freed from past trauma…

(14:45) “I literally would visualize myself running the Olympic race every single Thursday. So when I got to the championship, I was like, I've been here before, right. I'm already the champion.”

(17:20) “The minute that we were able to unlock it, I felt like a weight came off of me.”

(20:33) Dealing with mixed signals…

(23:00) Being intentional about your environment…

(25:16) How did you keep things fun?

(30:37) The details of a training day and staying motivated…

(32:53) Supportive parents were the difference maker…

(35:24) “I think he never stopped learning. Even after the success of Michael Johnson, he always studied the 400 and studied the sport and just kept pushing it.” 

(38:20) One career regret…

(40:54) Advice for athletes heading to Tokyo…

(42:10) MommiNation, Sanya’s passion project…

(44:30) The four P’s (or is it five?)...


2006 World Cup Athens 400m American Record 48.70 - YouTube

2008 Olympic 400 meter final - YouTube

2012 Olympic 400 meter final - YouTube

MommiNation - website


Sanya Richards-Ross - website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter


Jon Rankin - gobemore.co | @chasejonrankin

Bryan Green - maketheleapbook.com | @maketheleapbook

Learn More:

UCAN - ucan.co | @genucan

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