507: Lanny Bassham Interview with Michael Covel on Trend Following

Lanny Bassham
Lanny Bassham

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Olympic gold medalist Lanny Bassham is on today’s podcast. After falling short in the 1972 Olympics winning the silver medal rather than gold, Lanny went home and re-applied himself. He returned to the 1976 Olympics and won the gold medal in rifle shooting.

Lanny was the kid in school that nobody wanted on their team. He was slow, short and uncoordinated. He worked hard, but he was never going to be able to compete against others that were taller, faster and more coordinated. He shares a story about being in school and one of his classmates saying that he would be the least likely person to become an Olympic gold medalist. This prompted him to go home and learn all he could about the Olympics. This began his journey in finding his place in Olympic history.

Lanny moves on to share how much practice and work he had to put in to become an elite performer. He never felt like practice was something he had to do, it was something he got to do. He loved rifle shooting not just because of the action of it, but because he was good at it. He took obstacles and turned them into opportunities.

Next, Lanny says there is a big difference between winning silver and winning gold. When you go back home and everyone asks how you did, they always ask who won the gold, not who won the silver. Lanny relates winning silver saying, “It is like going to the super bowl and losing.” Doesn’t matter that you made it there if you don’t win. He quickly realized the reason he won silver wasn’t because of his shooting capabilities, it was his mental game. He teaches people how to have a mental process and tap into it when they need it the most.

Lanny breaks performance down as a function of three mental processes: the conscious mind, subconscious, and self image. He goes into depth explaining the balance between all of these psychological functions. He says that you need to focus on your process rather than outcome. When you are 100% in control, then you will be much more mentally consistent. Outcome will always follow process. Lanny finishes up the podcast asking the question, “Do you really want it to be easy?”

In this episode of Trend Following Radio:

  • Creating a mental process
  • Changing your self image
  • How the top 5% think
  • Hard work in practice vs. Hard work in tournaments
  • Thinking of process not outcome
  • Valuing performance not just participation

“A lot of people chase the ‘skill’ thinking that is all they need.” – Lanny Bassham

“Outcome will always follow process.” – Lanny Bassham

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