Thought Suppression

Olympic Thought Suppression

The Haunting of Lindsey Jacobellis, published in today's New York Times, touches on a principle instantly familiar to anyone who has struggled with obsessive bad thoughts: thought suppression does not work.  Lindsey Jacobellis, an Olympic snow boarder most noted for a blunder which cost her a gold medal in 2006, has finally adopted a new approach to unwanted thoughts - accept them.  Rather than trying to escape the constant reminders of past performance mistakes, she makes room for the thoughts and embraces the fear that comes with them.  Believe it or not, this approach is an outlier for many performance coaches, who often encourage athletes to focus on good thoughts, rather than acknowledging the bad.