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Research has shown that positive self-talk leads to success in sport, so many top-level athletes form their own mantras.

Mantras are phrases that resonate personally with an individual to leave them motivated and in a good frame of mind to get the job at hand done. 

Here are six mantras that have been used by elite sportspeople.

“Relentless” - Bill Rodgers

Bill Rodgers was won of the most successful distance runners of the 1970s and ‘80s, having won the Boston Marathon four times. He previously used the brief but powerful mantra “relentless” to spur himself on while racing.

“I got this” - Laurie Hernandez

Gymnast Laurie Hernandez rose to stardom at the 2016 Olympics when she won gold with the USA team and an individual silver on the balance beam. In a message of reassurance to herself before stepping up to the beam in Rio de Janeiro, she said: “You got this.”

“Create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome” - Phil Jackson

The formidable Chicago Bulls team of the 1990s has been thrown into the spotlight once again with the docuseries The Last Dance, and their coach Phil Jackson was known for his interest in spiritualism. The mantra Jackson lived by was: “Create the best possible conditions for success, then let go of the outcome.”

“Why not you? Why not us?” - Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson had aspirations of becoming a professional football player since he was a boy, and was repeatedly told by his father, “Why not you?” 

When he led the Seahawks to a Super Bowl win in 2014, he converted this to: “Why not us?”

“Calm, calm, calm. Relax, relax, relax” - Desiree Linden

American marathoner Des Linden has a reputation as a fierce competitor who’s able to withstand serious pain. In races, she tells herself: “Calm, calm, calm. Relax, relax, relax.”

“I deserve to win” - Marlen Esparza

Esparza is one of the best female boxers to come out of the United States, having won six national titles and a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. Explaining the logic behind her mantra, she says: “People give up on themselves because they don't think they're worthy of something bigger or they think someone else should win. This reminds me I've earned it."

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