Friday, April 19, 2024
Mitochondrial Health

#78 – Sasha Cohen: The value of accomplishment, and redefining success

On this episode, Sasha Cohen, former US Olympic determine skater, discusses essentially the most difficult issues about life as an Olympian—the unfathomable pressures, huge expectations, years of sacrifice, and your whole life’s work culminating in just some minutes on the world stage which, as soon as over, results in a lack of identification leading to many former Olympians struggling with despair. We start by speaking about all the things that led as much as her unforgettable second from the 2006 Olympics, and the way she dealt with herself so superbly within the face of catastrophe. Most significantly, we speak about post-skating life when she shares many insights such because the draw back of continually striving for a second, the hollowness of accomplishment, and the significance of redefining our definition of success.


We talk about:

  • Sasha’s mindset going into the 2006 Olympics as the favourite [6:30];
  • Determine skating fundamentals, scoring, quick program vs. lengthy program, and so on. [13:40];
  • Sasha’s unforgettable efficiency on the 2006 Olympics [18:10];
  • Win, lose, or draw, why many Olympians undergo from a lack of identification [32:30];
  • Coping with the frustration of “dropping the gold” [40:30];
  • The tiny window of alternative for Olympians, and the overwhelming strain to fulfill expectations [49:30];
  • Sasha’s distinctive childhood, discovering determine skating, and channeling her hyperactive persona into changing into a tremendous skater [1:01:30];
  • The implications of utmost coaching at a younger age, and making an attempt to regulate the uncontrollable [1:10:00];
  • What’s driving excessive athletes and Olympians to be the very best? [1:18:30];
  • Why many former Olympians and athletes battle with despair [1:25:00];
  • Refining success—How Sasha overcame her personal lack of identification [1:32:30];
  • What recommendation would Sasha give her 15-year-old self? [1:40:45];
  • Classes we will be taught from watching the speedy downfall of many former Olympians [1:45:00];
  • Recommendation for people who find themselves tying their identification to being “profitable” or striving to be “the very best” [1:56:00];
  • Life classes Sasha needs to use to being a mom to her child boy she is anticipating [2:05:00]; and
  • Extra.


Earlier than starting this podcast episode, take a second to look at Sasha’s lengthy program efficiency on the 2006 Olympic video games:


Sasha’s mindset going into the 2006 Olympics as the favourite [6:30]

  • Quick forwarding to age 21
  • Sasha is the favourite on the 2006 Olympics
  • She had a sense this is likely to be her final video games so she was feeling the strain
  • She additionally felt much less ready mentally and bodily that she would love
  • She has some unlucky accidents that occurred in the previous couple of months main as much as the video games
  • These couple of minutes it’s important to fulfill a lifelong dream is simply immense strain
  • In distinction, within the 2002 Olympics (her first video games) she was simply 17 she was simply amazed she made the Olympics and there was no strain to win (she bought fourth place)

“And I believe one thing that I’ve discovered rather a lot about myself since then is that we will’t management all the things. And as athletes we predict we will, that we will management and forestall any harm that may come up or any tools issues. And, and it’s very arduous to confess to your self that you would be able to’t management all the things trigger that’s what you’ve spent your complete life making an attempt to do.”

Placing on a courageous face

  • Athletes can’t present weak point, says Sasha
  • As a result of others will scent blood within the water and are available for you

“And so that you’re all the time placing on this courageous face, and it’s sort of a ‘faux it ‘til you make it’, as a result of should you present worry you give others confidence and also you undermine your self.”


Determine skating fundamentals, scoring, quick program vs. lengthy program, and so on. [13:40]

The quick program

  • normally 2 minutes and 50 seconds
  • There’s three leaping passes
  • there’s a footwork sequence
  • A spiral sequence
  • And three three spins

Lengthy program 

  • four min 10 sec
  • eight leaping passes and you can do jumps together 
  • Three to 4 spins 
  • A footwork sequence and a spiral sequence as nicely
  • Extra flexibility when it comes to should you do a mix otherwise you don’t do a mix
  • And it’s all about making an attempt to combination increasingly more factors


  • ~9 judges with a backup
  • They take your quick program and lengthy program collectively to provide you with your closing rating
  • Prime rating amongst skaters wins

Was Sasha’s energy extra on the quick program or the lengthy program or how do these differ?

  • Much less margin of error in brief program (one mistake and also you lose)
  • However lengthy program gives extra alternative to take dangers (because it’s longer)
  • Sasha favored quick program extra (extra “fiery” and fewer strain)
  • Extra endurance mentally and bodily in lengthy program

“For some individuals they see it as extra strain as a result of you possibly can’t make a mistake and in some methods it’s much less strain as a result of it doesn’t depend for as a lot because the lengthy and it’s simply, it’s everybody sort of getting initiated and seeing the place you rank.”


Sasha’s unforgettable efficiency on the 2006 Olympics [18:10]

  • Popping out of the quick program, Sasha was in first place, regardless of feeling like she didn’t do her greatest
  • She was thrilled, she couldn’t imagine it: “I hadn’t performed a clear quick program in weeks.
  • She then had a day without work earlier than her lengthy program skate
  • She truly strained her leg throughout her quick program so she didn’t follow in any respect main as much as the lengthy program (when is uncommon) 
  • This added to her nervousness about feeling unprepared
  • On her determination to not follow: “You all the time second guess all the things and in hindsight, however contemplating the place I used to be and the way injured I used to be, the time it, it did appear to be the very best determination as a result of at a sure level you’ve performed all the things so many occasions that it’s how you are feeling bodily, which actually informs how you are feeling mentally within the second that you just step out to carry out.

The notorious long program skate by Sasha in 2006

  • Within the 5 minute heat up earlier than her lengthy program, she fell on jumps that she normally nailed

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Sasha Cohen

Sasha is an American determine skater. She is the 2006 Olympic silver medalist, a three-time World Championship medalist, the 2003 Grand Prix Remaining Champion, and the 2006 U.S. Champion. She is thought for her artistry, flexibility and physique strains, and musical interpretation. As of 2019, Cohen is the final American girl to medal individually in determine skating on the Olympics. []

Twitter: @SashaCohenNYC

Instagram: @SashaCohenNYC

Web site:

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