Chari Hawkins: The Training And Lifestyle Of An Elite Heptathlete, And Overcoming Performance Anxiety And Pressure

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By Brad Kearns. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Get ready for a fantastic show with elite international heptathlete, Chari Hawkins!

As you can imagine, taking on seven different disciplines requires serious discipline, and Chari has made it to the highest level of this (quite grueling) sport, competing for team USA in the world championships, and she also happens to be an incredible high-jumper, 2024 Olympic hopeful, and Instagram sensation. However, as you will hear during this show, she has also suffered from numerous struggles and setbacks, and as the episode proceeds, it gets pretty deep and reflective, and I think you will love hearing this amazing perspective that Chari has developed through her trials and tribulations, as well as her successful moments.

You will hear her talk about her long battle with crippling performance anxiety during high-level competitions and how she managed to persevere through it, and the breakthroughs she experienced in her perspective and attitude, thanks to a tremendous amount of self-reflection. Through that self-reflection, Chari has realized some of the highest ideals of being an athlete and a peak performer, while also being focused on giving back—she has created a wonderful mental training course, 30 Days with Chari, which you can check out on her website (the link can also be found in the show notes). You will hear us talk about the mental aspects of peak performance, professionalism, and what it is really like being an athlete in a sport like track and field where there are frankly no guaranteed contracts to supplement your income. Enjoy hearing the tremendous thoughtfulness Chari offers in this wide-ranging interview and check out her website here.

TIMESTAMPS:

Chari Hawkins has amazing career as a heptathlete. [00:51]

Chari explains her sport and talks about managing to keep her brain as well as her body in check for the two-day event. [04:07]

How is the heptathlon scored? [08:08]

You have to really train your mind. You have to deal with seven different personalities. [10:52]

There is a tradition of everyone collapsing at the end of the last event. [14:08]

How did the progression from college athlete to heptathlete go? She dealt with performance anxiety. [15:23]

The gravity of the competition was extreme that she had attached her value as a person to the results. [24:53]

It is terribly difficult to unwire the anxiety mindset. We need to train mentally. [34:30]

She was waiting for a breakthrough to happen instead of having a plan to fix and create a breakthrough. [41:11]

So often we give the athlete who “failed” space to deal with their feelings whereas it might be better to go to them and say, “How you doing?” A loss in sport doesn’t have to be life or death. [46:37]

The fans and sponsors put much pressure on the athlete. [47:50]

More than being a winning athlete, think about what you can bring to the world in the long run. [54:05]

How is she able to make a living in this not too common sport? [29:10]

Work for your own progress, not to get a sponsor. [01:07:19]

How is she able to jump so high? {01:08:43]

How does mental training work? [01:12:49]

When in doubt about continuing on in your sport career, ask yourself these questions. [01:17:02]

LINKS:

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