Feedback and Motivation (09:13)
Brian Boitano dreamed of skating on the Olympic team, and though he had passion and an athletic body, he often had to work harder than others to achieve his goal. This forced him to break down processes and analyze technique, which served him well under pressure. Roy F. Baumeister argues that too much praise can lead to overconfidence, whereas criticism can teach humility and work ethic.
Developing Self-Discipline (06:40)
Boitano explains that developing will power, endurance, and commitment in an activity early on will transfer to whatever you do in life. When he teaches ice skating, often children without these skills are not willing to take the steps to learn a technique. Baumeister agrees that self-control exercises, even if unrelated to life and work, help people develop character and will power in other areas.
Mindfulness Practice and Muscle Memory (08:43)
Baumeister explains that learned behaviors gradually become automatic. Boitano emphasizes the importance of thinking about his performance in detail, filling his mind with technical information and positivity—this prevents negativity and helps him stay in the moment. Baumeister compares this practice to Buddhist meditation and developing self-control through religion.
Maintaining Energy and Focus (08:18)
Baumeister explains that people learn to do skills automatically, but under pressure they may focus on them again, bringing back uncertainty and the possibility of making mistakes. Boitano describes his loss of energy and will-power after the Olympics and speculates about whether people have a limit to will-power reserves.
Personal Sources of Energy (06:59)
Boitano describes how his stress, energy level, and schedule changed after the Olympics and as he entered the professional realm. He experiences a loss of energy through speaking too much, so he tries to remain silent during competitions, and often loses his voice after exhausting episodes. Each skater has personal techniques and methods for success, and young skaters need to develop these early on.
Creativity and Career (03:16)
Baumeister explains that in studies, will power supports creativity. Boitano describes his process of initially allowing creative freedom to produce ideas, then selecting what works best and using discipline to develop it. He argues that his biggest risk was in maintaining an Olympic level of skating even in his post-Olympic performances.
Credits: The Skating Champion (00:05)
Credits: The Skating Champion
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