Goal Achievement – Olga Korbut Looks Backwards!

During the TV coverage of the London 2012 Olympics, I saw one of the guests on a highlights show was Olga Korbut. On the same day that Michael Phelps reached the highest Olympic medal haul of all-time, overtaking a gymnast, it prompted me to write about a great goal achievement tip…

The Great Gordino goal achievement

click to go to olgakorbut.com

Phelps has now got 19 Olympic medals, 15 golds, and that overtook the record held by Russian gymnast Larissa Latynina, who was there to watch.

Latynina was part of the development of Olympic gymnastics, going from it being men only, to big bulky women, to a more feminine shape. In ‘68, that development was taken further by Czech athlete Vera Caslavska, who added the element of performing to the crowd rather than just the judges.

Then in 1972 a tiny Soviet appeared called Olga Korbut. She took the audience engagement to a whole new level, with a combination of an impish smile, and very public tears after a very public mistake on the uneven bars.

With all those gymnastic goal achievements, from Latynina to Caslavska to Korbut, which tip am I concentrating on today..?

Well, it was something Korbut said in the documentary, and she said it again on the studio sofa. It concerns the development of one of her innovative moves, the back somersault on the beam.

It’s a standard move nowadays, but Olga was the first. The documentary had amazing footage of her practising the move, with her speaking over the top, saying the only way to achieve something like that is slowly, with practice, and one step at a time.

She said that if you try something like that all at once, you will fail. You need to train your body, and you need to train your mind.

So, she started on the floor, then on a very low beam, then move the beam higher bit by bit.

She’d fall off, get up again, fall off and get up again. Slowly slowly, step by step.

Here’s a picture of her falling off after an attempt in a bleak rehearsal room.
The Great Gordino goal achievement
It’s a superb goal achievement tip – it’s tempting to want things to happen right now, when sometimes it’s just not possible. The patient approach is the *only* approach, and that’s something that has to be taken on board.

I’ll be honest, I have no desire to be doing back somersaults on a 4 inch wide beam, and it may not be your goal either. Think to your own goal though, and go back to Olga Korbut’s advice. She was a multi gold medal winner, and if the step by step approach was good enough for her, could you apply it to your goal?

Do let me know what you think! Either leave a comment here, or get me on facebook.

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
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  • This is a great way to prepare for a single occasion, such as an important interview, perhaps an appearance on the Television or even, the Olympics, but it is not a suitable way to run a business.

    • I certainly wouldn’t dismiss patience and learning as worthwhile skills Eddie. As for businesses, so many new ones fail because of lack of preparation, or expanding too far too fast. Hope all well with you, Gordon