Women's Sports: Japanese triathlete Ai Ueda credits the use of sport psychology techniques as a tool to optimise performance

2014 Asian Games - Day 6

As part of the new Bridgestone 'Olympic State of Mind' interactive experience, Japanese 'Iron Girl' Ai Ueda, spoke to the Olympic Channel about the importance of practising mindfulness, visualisation, and motivation in the build-up to Tokyo.

The Olympic State of Mind project launched on the Olympic Channel aims to train the mind just like that of a professional athlete to become the "best version of yourself". Ueda's involvement with the project adds insight into the psychology behind her accomplishments and how she continues to perform at her peak. 

With an illustrious career - becoming a two-time Asian triathlon champion, Asian Games gold medallist and Olympian, it is fascinating to learn about the secrets behind Ueda's success.

Ueda credits the use of mental techniques as she told the Olympic Channel, "I have three main things that act as my sources of motivation. The first one is to have a dream to achieve.

"The second is a smile. Always staying positive and having a smile on your face. The third is not having limits," said Ueda.

On race days, Ueda's ear-to-ear smile is a noticeable feature despite many athletes choosing to keep a poker face during intense competition. Ueda uses visualisation techniques to remain positive which ultimately helps her find her race-rhythm.

"Visualise the joy you'll feel when you make it happen. Then keep a smile on your face in the good and bad," said Ueda.

The 36-year-old made her first elite triathlon appearance in 2003 and now hopes to make her fourth Olympics in Tokyo later this year.

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