Motivation with Allyson Felix and Ariarne Titmus

Six-time Olympic champ Felix says being an example to her young daughter serves as her motivation, while teen swim sensation Titmus uses music to get her going.
By Olympic Channel

Motivation is one of the three key techniques in the Olympic State of Mind, the Bridgestone Olympic Channel experience which helps you be the best version of yourself.

It is vital for any athlete with the goal of an Olympic gold medal or world title often a prime motivating factor.

But motivation changes as athletes go through their careers and readjust their goals, some because they want to demonstrate continued excellence in their discipline having reached the summit.

Athletics - Allyson Felix

Six-time gold medallist Allyson Felix is one athlete with longevity to match her ability.

The American track star has won medals at no fewer than four Olympic Games starting at Athens 2004.

Sixteen years later, she is still going strong and hoping to add to her tally of six gold and three silver medals.

In November 2018, Felix gave birth to her first child by emergency Caesarean section 32 weeks into her pregnancy after suffering severe pre-eclampsia.

Her daughter Camryn had to spend the next month in newborn intensive care before going home, with Felix changed by the birth difficulties and the trials of being a new mum.

Felix told Olympic Channel, "I feel like my motivation is different now. I think about doing things so that my daughter can see them so that she can have a great example."

"And it just makes me feel really tough. You're like, 'If I've got through these sleepless nights and juggling, then I can face anything.'"

She took her tally to a record 13 World Championship titles last year in Doha with victory in the mixed and women's 4x400m relays, taking her clear of Usain Bolt.

And the 34-year-old's desire to reach a fifth Olympic Games remains as strong as ever.

"I think about Tokyo a lot. I think it's always in the back of my head." - Allyson Felix

Swimming - Ariarne Titmus

Ariarne Titmus is at the opposite end of her career to Felix.

The Australian caused a sensation at the Gwangju 2019 FINA Aquatics World Championships, beating Katie Ledecky to win the 400m freestyle title.

She also swam the lead-off leg as Australia ended USA's 10-year unbeaten run in major competitions in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Her Olympic debut has been delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but she is keen to perform on the biggest stage of all and motivated by the desire to win medals.

To get herself pumped up, Titmus listens to a playlist from her mother who she describes as "a real headbanger".

She said, "My main motivational tools are self-talk and music.

"I motivate myself in training and in racing through self-talk. Before I race, at every competition I play this same playlist.

"My mum's playlist is 90s and 80s rock and, as much as they're not my favourite songs, the beat kind of really gets me gets me into the mood I need to be into race." - Ariarne Titmus

"I never use music prior to training. I only use music at competitions to race, and it's more of a thing not only to get myself in the zone, but to separate myself from other people and actually make sure I don't talk to anyone else and try and really focus."

Titmus also likes music from more contemporary artists with one track standing out.

"I'm a massive Shawn Mendes fan and I love all his songs, but probably 'There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back' as cliché as that sounds!"

Get motivated with Olympic State of Mind

The Olympic State of Mind experience is live on Olympic Channel and features fellow Team Bridgestone athlete ambassadors Jordan Burroughs, P.V. Sindhu, Ai Ueda, and Thomas Rohler.

There are video clips to help your journey through motivation, mindfulness, and visualisation, plus a special edition of the Olympic Channel Podcast.