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The competitive edge? It's a Zen thing

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In a few weeks, millions of us will be glued to our TV sets, watching the best athletes in the world ski, skate, and slide their way into Olympic history in Turin, Italy

But just as important as physical training, say those who study elite athletes, is the mental training that goes into a peak performance. If two athletes are equally fit, the edge often goes to the one with the better emotional skills -- not a do-or-die focus on winning but a set of habits that all of us can learn, including positive ''self talk,' maintaining an energy level that is neither too excited nor too relaxed, and, perhaps most important, a Buddhist-like ability to focus totally on the moment at hand -- on this particular breath, stroke, turn.

So useful are these techniques that sport psychologists say their coaching is increasingly being sought by surgeons, trial lawyers, musicians, public speakers, business people, and others who need to perform at their best in high-stress situations.
(opednews editor rob kall will be running a conference on optimal functioning that includes the person interviews in this article, Nate Zinsser.
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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

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Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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