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    Five Minutes With Olympic Gold Medalist and Performance Coach Joe Jacobi

    5 Minutes With: Joe Jacobi

     By Ambassador Marty G.

    In 1992 Joe Jacobi and Scott Strausbaugh won the first ever Olympic Gold Medal in C2 (2 - person canoe) Slalom. Joe and I became acquainted after that epic event.

    My focus was flatwater racing, and Joe and I trained together in his preparation to dip a toe in the flatwater arena. Since that time Joe was the CEO of the sport’s national governing body.  He also coaches his daughter, Seu Jacobi, and other world-class paddlers in his adopted home town of La Seu d’Urgell, Spain.

    In addition to coaching world-class athletes, Joe also works with top performers from a variety of domains. And as we discuss below, the core principles of becoming successful applies to any area of life.

    And few people have performed on the razor’s edge as long as Joe – first as athlete, then as CEO, and now as performance coach. You can catch Joe at his web site, and be sure to sign up for his excellent feed, Sunday Morning Joe.

    Marty G.: Is there something that was your “Truth” in development years, that is no longer their “Truth”? 

    Joe Jacobi: I think the truths I adopted within the amazing training groups in which I was able to be a part functioned well on timeless truths. I think about them today. Perhaps the one I share most commonly is, "Small steps forward every day."  

    This is a play on small wins, progress of any kind, and attention to the long game.  

    MG: For those who compete on the world stage, with those pursue their craft more recreationally, is there a common factor that is a limiter in performance? 

    JJ: In both my athletic and executive coaching, we work on recovery. Sleep and rest is a huge component to our work together. What gets in the way when people are tired at the end of the day? Poor choices in what to eat, what to watch on TV (nothing is best), and shutting down social media screens. Planning out a good routine for going to sleep works well for me.  

    MG: Does confidence create results? Or do results create confidence?

    JJ: This isn't so black and white for me. Confidence is a work in progress and it doesn't always show up when you would like for it to. I write more extensively about confidence here --> Absence of Confidence 

    MG: In my experience, those traits that a great athlete has to embrace are also the traits that a great musician, surgeon, entrepreneur, etc. has to embrace to achieve success in their domain. In your experience of working with top performers in athletics and other fields, is that your experience as well? 

    JJ: This circles back to process for me. The musicians and business leaders with whom I best identify, and am able to share best practices, are process oriented first and foremost. I respect and understand that some people do really well with lots of metrics and goals but for me, this part of the game shows up when I am focusing on what I do best - which is the work I can control.