Local coach helps Olympian mentally prepare to compete

Local coach helps Olympian mentally prepare to compete

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on August 1, 2012 at 8:17 AM

LONDON, U.K. -- It is an unlikely duo in London -- one an Olympic athlete, the other a US Airways flight attendant both based in Charlotte.

With canoer Casey Eichfeld going for the gold, Tom Maloney has become his Neurology coach.  
 
“I have never done his sport.  What I do actually covers every sport because every sport says that the mind is critical,” Maloney said.  “I never want an athlete to suffer the way I suffered.”  
 
Maloney is a former competitive athlete himself.  
 
“I’ve interviewed thousands of athletes while I’ve been working on this,” he said. 
 
And he’s developed a plan to keep athletes from choking during competition. 
 
“He’s been really teaching me how to maintain my focus and I think that’s one of the reasons that I’ve had a huge jump,” Casey said.  “Cause what you’re doing is rewiring the brain to control the core of the brain as opposed to listening to the core of the brain.”
 
Bruce Jenner won a medal for the decathlon in 1976.  Here’s here in London working for E News and he tells me your mind can easily get in the way of your body.
 
“Everyone has so many emotions and its how you deal with those emotions. Can I make those emotions work for me not against me?” Jenner said. 
 
Swimmer Brendan Hanson is basking in the glory of his medal in London but the five time medalist knows the pressures that cause the athletes to crumble.
 
“I think a big part of swimming is the mental aspect of it. I mean, what you’re thinking when you get on the blocks,” Hansen said. 
 
While Casey navigates this swift water in London this flight attendant by day is here to help him avoid the mental turbulence.
 
On Sunday with Maloney watching, Casey failed to make the cut by two spots, heartbreaking for this 22-year-old Olympian. 
 
“So it’s him being his best. That’s what I’m looking for and he’s already achieved that goal,” Maloney said.

 

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