On the lead up to Berlin, World 200m & 400m Individual Medley Champion, Katinka Hosszu will compete in a whopping 10 events!
Befittingly nicknamed the Iron Lady, Katinka is nothing short of a real life Marvel character. But what does it take to be Superhuman? We asked Katinka what she considered to be the 8 key qualities…
For me the big day is each morning. I approach training as if it were the Olympics. I use all the same mental aspects I will use on race day to get the most out of myself during each portion of training.
I absolutely love what I do. I mean I am a professional athlete. If you think about it, my career as an adult is chasing and following the dreams I have had since I was a little girl swimming with my grandfather. Vision is a key attribute, the vision to see a new path. I want my swim career to impact the sport; I want to leave the sport better than when I first entered it.
I work out just as hard to help my body recover correctly as I do while I am beating up in training, so that my body is able to do what I want it to do, when I ask it. During final sessions when I have 4 events, one after another, I never think of anything except the first one. You think I swam four races in a session, but in my mind I swam four different sessions.
I strongly believe that the mind controls the body, so a strong mentality means a strong physical body and my mentality has always been a huge contributor to my success in swimming. If we understand that our thoughts and words are what eventually create our character, then we understand where to start creating the change.
Your mentality controls a lot about how you handle and react to different events and situations. A lot of times for me being tired is just a mental thing. I ask myself, when I am lying in bed before going to sleep later than night if I will still be okay with the fact that my excuse for not doing something or for me being lazy and having my performance slack off, was that I was tired. I can’t remember a time when I said this excuse would make me feel okay before going to bed. Basically, If the excuse wouldn’t fly for me when I am not tired then it should not fly for me when I am tired.
Honestly, I am probably about as competitive a person as you could find. I love turning things into a competition and I love the fight to win. However, I don’t hate losing like a lot of other people. I used to hate it; I used to fight like crazy to win so that I wouldn’t lose. Now, I realized that there is more to life than the competition immediately in front of me, and that if I do lose, life will move on afterward. When I step on the blocks and become obsessed with winning, it’s for the fun of trying to win and I will give it everything I got before I accept defeat, but if I do lose, well, then the other person just got the better of me and there will always be another competition if I choose there to be.
For me it comes down to the idea that hard work will always come back to you, and if we know what we need to do in order to be successful why wouldn’t we do it. Imagine someone came to you and said you need to go do x, y and z, and if you do you will break the world record. Would you do it or since some of those things might be rigorous and demanding you would make excuses and reason why they can’t get done. Honestly, the answer to that question shows how committed to your goals you are. For me, I don’t care how rigorous or demanding those tasks are, my commitment to myself pushes me to work to get them done.
Over my career I have constantly heard people make excuses. Excuses why someone didn’t reach their goals or accomplish a task. It always seems like people are waiting for their perfect moment, waiting for the stars to a line, and for everything to just magically click together for them. Well, for me, my view is that this will never happen. If it does that’s fantastic, but my focus is on developing myself to the point that I can be on the top of my game no matter what the situations is. It’s not about being best under perfect conditions its about being the best under whatever conditions present themselves.