What makes champions tick?

From an interview with mlive.com:


GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Steve Hamming practices what he preaches.

Hamming is a clinical and sports psychologist in West Michigan, and has always been interested in what makes an elite athlete tick.

The 52-year-old has played sports at a high level, including professional fast pitch softball, but now has taken his choice of sport to a new level.

Hamming recently qualified for the CrossFit World Championships masters division, which will take place July 13-15 in Carson, Calif.

CrossFit is a grueling sport that tests an athlete’s endurance in 40 skills, some of which include Olympic lifts (clean and jerk and snatch), dead lifts, back squats, box jumps, wall balls and burpees, which are also called up-downs.

“This is part of why I do what I do with this training,” Hamming said. “It’s my classroom to help me understand why athletes head into the pain of training and competing like they do.

“There are some sports where running into the pain, or enduring pain is part of the challenge of the sport, like in track,” he added. “If you are running the 800 meters, the guy who wins is the guy who can most endure the pain. What we understand in sports psychology is that our body starts to act like an alarm when heart starts pounding. What I have learned alarm goes off before you have to stop.”

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