Work in Sports
U.S. 1,500-meter runner Jason Pyrah
Jason Pyrah is running in his second consecutive Olympics after qualifying third at the U.S. Trials in the 1,500 meters. In the Atlanta Games, Pyrah was eliminated in the prelims.
Any kind of head games for me involve just focusing on not being distracted by other people. Iím one to really just keep to myself.
Iím real quiet around my wife and my family. They know that I get irritated at little things, which kind of bugs me. Iíll be nervous, but I wonít necessarily show it that much. I do show it, though, in that Iím quiet and I donít want to be pestered or talked to or anything like that.
Getting ready for a race is more of a focus thing. Donít worry about anything, just focus in on the race. The physical part is done, so really it is just a mind game where you sit down and say, ďAm I going to make this, or not?Ē You have to convince yourself that you are.
For me, itís: ďYou know you can run with these guys. Youíve done it hundreds of times. Go out and do it.Ē ... Itís a positive affirmation. I tell myself: ďYes, you are one of the best. You are the best. Go out and prove that youíre one of the best.Ē
Iíve learned to do that over the last three or four years. That has really put my mindset right when it comes to national championships and the other races that countóespecially when I know Iíve trained my butt off to get here. In the past, there was always a doubt, like, ďOh, man, did I train enough?Ē Or, ďOh, man, Iím standing next to [Algeriaís Nourredine] Morceli, a guy who has run 3:27.Ē Now, I look at him and say heís got two arms, two legs, two eyes, just like I do. Heís every bit as human as I am, and this race isnít any better than the one before or the one after.
During a 1,500 race, if there are any psyche jobs, it may be a push or a shove here or there in the race. When we started that race [the prelims of the menís 1,500 at the Sydney Games], Morceli automatically just went right into the side of me. He shoved his arm into the side of me and took off for the inside.
Well, you canít let something like that bother you. You just have to go with it and realize that he is going to get shoved around, too.