Nick Fairall’s Inspirational Speech on Mental Fitness

NYSEF alum and 2014 Olympian, Nick Fairall spoke on the importance of developing one’s mental fitness by sharing the lessons he’s learned from his career as a professional athlete and how they played a major role throughout his life, and in his recovery from a spinal cord injury.

“ We as athletes have an amazing opportunity to develop ourselves mentally.

We have the ability to consistently test and push our mental strength just from the sports and the competitions we participate in.  

So go out and begin to learn from every situation. Whether it’s a success or failure, LEARN FROM IT! Read books that will make you better, learn and study world-class athletes, and

find what works best for you and implement them into your life! Because developing your mental strength and fitness, will not just give you better results, they will give you a better Life!”

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Transcript from Fairall’s speech — Below:

Leading up to the 2010 Olympic season, I was jumping well, getting good results, and had confidence in myself. I was a Favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team; however, at the time, I wasn’t very strong mentally.

After a few bad results, my performances began to waiver.

As a result, I continued to fall apart. One of my lifelong dreams of becoming an Olympian began to slip away.

I went from being in the 1st TO BE Selected, the 1st NOT Selected to the Olympic team.

I was devastated.

It put me into a very depressed state, but in those dark times, I began to learn the importance of mental fitness.

I realized that mental strength is something you have to develop. Our brains are absolutely extraordinary and fascinating things, but they act just like a muscle.

The more you work and the more you train, the stronger and more flexible it becomes. So after failing to make the team in 2010, I realized the importance of training your brain and developing one’s mental fitness.

I would read books, I would study athletes who were better than me, and I focused more on the process instead of the final result. I actively searched for things that made me better, and I made them my bad habits.

And so I started my rise back up. I became stronger; both physically and mentally.

And four years later, I won U.S. Olympic Trials, securing a spot on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team.

I was ecstatic and I was proud and honored to represent our country at the Olympic Games!

But the thing is, we, as athletes, never truly understand, or appreciate,

the mental strength that we can develop as athletes and how important truly is.

Until life takes a turn on us.

2 years ago, life took a turn on me, and I crashed while competing in a World Cup. I broke my back and suffered a spinal cord injury which left me paralyzed.

This was a true test. It tested me mentally and tested me physically.

But my time as an athlete set me far ahead and gave me a significant boost in my recovery.

That boost was the difference between sitting on the couch and feeling sorry for myself,

OR going out and doing the things that I want to do, continue to push forward while still enjoying my life to the best of my ability and doing the things that I love!

Whether it’s adaptive waterskiing or alpine skiing,

I’m not going to let anything stand in my way!

So I highly encourage all of you

to start working on and developing your mental fitness

We as athletes have an amazing opportunity to develop ourselves mentally.

We have the ability to consistently test and push our mental strength just from the sports and the competitions we participate in.

So go out and begin to learn from every situation.

Whether it’s a success or failure, LEARN FROM IT!

Read books that will make you better, learn and study world-class athletes, and

find what works best for you and implement them into your life!

Because developing your mental strength and fitness, will not just give you better results, they will give you a better life!