HMMR Podcast Episode 166: Champion’s mindset (with Aretha Thurmond)

For nearly more than 15 years Aretha Thurmond was among the world’s best in the discus throw, making four Olympic teams and winning four US titles. Along the way she got to work with some of the sport’s top coaches and learn from each of them what it takes to be a champion. Currently, she is passing along her knowledge to a new generation of throwers as the Managing Director of International & Championship Teams at USATF. On this episode, we talk about the lessons she learned in her career and the mental skills required to be a champion, including the amazing story of how she nearly made Team USA just two weeks after giving birth.

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This episode is sponsored by Velaasa, a premier brand producing shoes, apparel and equipment for power athletes. Their new weightlifting shoe has been getting rave reviews. They also produce a line of throwing equipment including hammers, shot puts, discs, and javelins that we discuss on this episode. You can learn more about them on their website on follow them on Instagram @velaasa.

Notes and quotes

Aretha announced herself as a thrower by qualifying for the 1996 Olympic team at age 19. She went on to make teams again in 2004, 2008, and 2012. Since retiring in 2012 she has been working for USATF and was recently promoted to Managing Director of International & Championship Teams, where she organizes the logistics and administration behind the national teams.

In addition to looking back on her career, we talked about the champion’s mindset and the state of American throwing.

Lessons learned in 20 years of throwing
Training methods
The state of American discus throwing
The champion’s mindset

To hear more on these topics, listen to the full episode above. Also be sure to subscribe to our podcast and review it on iTunes.

Further reading

The following links were referenced in the podcast or provide some additional reading material on the topic: