OLYMPIC great Cathy Freeman has told pole vault champion Steve Hooker to trust himself as he works to overcome his mental demons in time for the London Games.
Hooker has recently returned to international competition after taking time out when he admitted his confidence on the runway had hit rock bottom.
Freeman says the defending Olympic champion and Australia’s athletics team captain needs a simple approach to his comeback.
”Trust, trust in yourself. It’s really that simple,” Freeman said.
”If you love what you do and every cell in your body is convinced and is totally directed toward one goal, then it’s just a matter of trust.
”That instinct to compete kicks in, throw in the drama, the meaning of what it is you’re going for and how often this opportunity comes around. You just have to trust in yourself.
”That mental rehearsal – gearing up … for the perfect performance. And visualisation, because I believe the body will follow.”
While Freeman says she can’t understand the technical aspects of Hooker’s return, the Sydney 400 metres Olympic champion can certainly relate to the pressure he’s under. And she believes he has the ability and experience to return to his best in London.
”If he’s half the competitor I think he is, he can,” Freeman said. ”He’s an Olympic champion, he knows. He knows how to do it – he’s done it before. The picture’s changed slightly, but he knows.”