Anna Fernstaedt, Olympic Skeleton Athlete
Leading up to the Olympics:
I was in the World Cup circuit in the 2016/17 season. This past season, the Olympic year, I missed the qualification in October, so I was named to the Intercontinental Cup circuit, the second highest. I was very disappointed, but my team was great so I reminded myself to just have fun.
My first 4 races in Canada were so good that I got a call up to race in the 3rd out of 8 Worldcup races.
To qualify for the Olympics, I needed 3 top 8 results. Whistler I got 6th, the following 2 races before Christmas I was out of the top 8.
Just after those races, Tonya reached out to me and asked for a call. After speaking with her, I slid onto the podium the very next race, and finished 5th in St Moritz, a track I didn't even originally believe I could get into the top 10.
My next highlight was the Junior World Champs. Again in St Moritz, this time I won. I was named to the Olympic team, and finished 6th in Peyongchang. The race was a total different experience than any other race, and I don't think I would have had a chance to finish in the top 6 without working on my mindset with Tonya!
What changed while working with Tonya?
My focus changed completely after working with Tonya. I focused on myself, not the competitions and the competitiors/ times ... things which I can't control. Just on my performance. That I can do my best, that I can improve run by run. I trusted and believed more in my skills. Concentrated on the good things and making them better."
What you enjoyed most about working with Tonya:
"Besides talking about my problems, what I was struggling with and working on my mindset, the calls always ended with a smile on my face and I was so motivated of what would come next. :) "
Results you experienced while working together:
"Besides the results, something that really changed for me was that I was more happy about how I went through a race. Nerves, thoughts, fears. I managed to get away from all of that. When a race didn't work out as good as I wanted, that's what changed more. I saw it more positive. I learned more, I knew I could do better. But not that I messed up and could do better, but that it was still okay and that I just can improve the next time. I learnt to look at things with a much more positive approach, which helped me perform better overall."
Advice you would give to others who are curious about working with Tonya to
improve their Mindset:
It's definitely worth a try. You can improve so much in your performance and your thoughts/feels.
For me it was probably one of the best things that could’ve happened."