"...no such thing as an easy win" - Mikaela Shiffrin
“There is no such thing as an easy win” (Mikaela Shiffrin commenting on her Facebook page). The counter would be, if winning were easy there would be lots of winners.
To help put this into perspective, and to use my research as the basis for these comments every athlete who is regularly contending for first place has the ability to put more into a day and get more out of a day than even the rest of the highly talented field. The champions day ends with the mindset that I have done everything that I needed to do today in order to win tomorrow. Such a day could include anything from taking a nap to eating the right meal, to taking enough training runs to the point that something was learned and perfected. Perfected such that on race day that newly developed skill happens automatically. On race day there can be no questions or lingering thoughts.
To be in a position to win every race requires a massive effort and a plan that is never easy. A champions day does not end with the thought that today was good enough. Good enough is not enough. A champions day ends when every task is completed and the goals for that day have all been met. Living in such a world is extremely challenging and while there might be lots of smiles for the cameras, it is a different story behind the scenes. In her Facebook quote, the life Mikaela describes on the road would break most people. Yet, the champion ski racer must keep all of that in perspective, in balance, and under control if regular winning is going to happen.
When Mikaela Shiffrin says “My goal is to be a true contender every time I step into the start”, it means that she is not racing for second place. This is a mindset that does not come for free. Her skills and talents must be nurtured and practiced every day in order to maintain this mindset and level. Further, in the case of Mikaela Shiffrin the ski racing world and the sports world has one of those champions who also has a warm and engaging personality, thus making her continual winning all the more interesting and fun to watch.