On Saturday, September 17, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team completed its historic Paralympic Games with the team’s first-ever gold medal on Saturday, defeating China 25-12, 25-12, 25-18.
The gold medal win follows silver medals for Team USA at the 2012 and 2008 Paralympic Games.
Katie Holloway was a member of both those silver medal teams and finally has her gold medal.
In Katie’s Finding Mastery conversation, she discussed her fear of serving and her concern over not having enough time to practice leading up to the Paralympic games.
The last couple years had been really tough for her because she hadn’t been training full time.
Katie has had an enormous fear behind the service line where she would “freak out.”
During the conversation, Mike recommends the practice of “imagery” to give her the confidence she needs for Rio. He explains how she can implement it.
Mike tells a story about a past conversation he had with one of the greatest in UFC.
The fighter described to Mike how he practices imagery:
“I love what it feels like to hear the cage door close behind me, to imagine 17,000 fans screaming, knowing that they want blood- mine or the other. When I can get my mind to be so connected to that environment, my heart rate comes up. Then I do one of two things: Either I stay with it and keep the imagery rolling because that’s what it feels like when I’m in the arena or I get a rep at bringing my heart rate down (taking myself out of the arena) and finding calm.”
Mike recommends Katie go on a relentless pursuit to figure out what imagery can do for her over the next few months.
“What if we made a commitment to say, this is what I want to experience in my life the most—and then that becomes the focus of imagery.”
The basic mechanics are:
Just as a kid in a sandbox conjures up an imaginary friend and/or scene, go back to that same type of experience where you’re completely absorbed with all of your senses creating the experience that is stimulating to you.
It could be very small, little nuances of doing something, or it could be walking into the arena. It could be game point or it could be serving.
“Relentlessly, uncommonly so, nauseatingly so, envision how you want to feel and be and do that thing.”
Mike’s final advice to Katie is:
“Why not be on the court in Rio one million times before you actually get there?”
Catch the full conversation here
Katie Holloway was born without a fibula in her right leg and had her right foot and ankle amputated when she was only 20 months old. However, her impairment did not stop her from amassing an impressive athletic collegiate career in both volleyball and basketball. She is the face of the USA’s sitting volleyball program, and is now a gold medalist at Rio 2016, after winning silver in her previous two Paralympic Games appearances.