Her Greatest Asset - A World-Beating Work-Ethic
Jessica may never have tried to become a professional athlete in the first place! In her teens she was told that she was simply too short to be world-class. Her coach, Toni Minichiello, however, saw incredible potential in Jessica at a young age,
"What they couldn't see was the work ethic or the competitive nature of the individual. That ability not to give up and keep improving."
Ennis-Hill has proven her coach right with European, World and Olympic titles to her name.
She Had to Start Training From Scratch
Since her Olympic gold in 2012, Jessica gave birth to her son just over a year ago and has since had to restart her intense training regime from scratch. Going to Beijing, she also had history against her; no mum returning from childbirth has ever won a multi-event title. Imagine what would have happened if she believed it was impossible to do something that hadn’t been done before?
She Worked Through Injury and Uncertainty
It was also doubtful whether she would be able to compete in the World Championships in Beijing at all. She was dogged by injury at the start of the year, recovering only three months before the Championships. In fact it was only decided she was definitely going to compete less than three weeks earlier! The Heptathlon is a mentally and emotionally enduring discipline and so her preparation was far from ideal. As described by Minichiello in relation to the Heptathlon,
"You have to be the greatest individual you can be spread over two days and that's what takes it out of you. The three and a half minutes is physical; the 48 hours you go through is mental."
She Wasn’t Expected to Win
To top it off she was not favoured to win and it was predicted that a bronze medal would be the best she could hope for. When it came to the crunch however, her competitors either performed below their best or simply couldn’t cope with the pressure of the big occasion. Jessica however was remarkably consistent and ultimately it was this that made all the difference.
She Had the Mindset of a Champion With the Right Support
As in the case of her fellow Olympian; Dame Kelly Holmes, Jessica’s victory shows us that the right mindset is absolutely key when facing difficult circumstances. This is something we can all develop; we don’t need to be a world-class athlete to do this, instead what we need to do is nurture belief in ourselves and ensure we have the right people to support us in the consistent pursuit of our goals no matter how hard it gets. Click here to read more about Jessica’s victory and watch her championship-winning performance.
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