Sally Gunnell OBE holds a place in the hearts of the nation as the most popular female sportswomen of our times, and our most successful. She is the only woman to hold four titles concurrently – Olympic, World, European & Commonwealth and also held the World Record for the 400m hurdles. To many she was ‘the girl next door’, the daughter of an Essex farmer who’s warm and easygoing manner belied her incredible sporting achievements.
Training to win
Whilst Sally was naturally a very talented runner, one thing she is very aware of is that although she had to train very hard physically, the amount of mental training was just as important. When she trained she focused strongly on imagining her best performance. It became so natural for her to think this way, that when she did run there was a time lapse before she realised that she had actually won the race rather than just imagined it. Sally went on to win Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth medals using these techniques. She now uses the same approach in her role as a member of the BBC sports team and bringing health and fitness to a wider audience through non-threatening and easy to understand principles.