In this Wee Chat we talk with Jessie Barr, Irish 2012 Olympian in the 4 x 400m relay team in London, and Irish National 400m Hurdle Champion from 2011-2013. She participated in various sports from a young age and competed in track as just part of her normal sport and social routine, until she began to realize her current and potential ability, and that she could compete at a high level on the world stage. During her final years as an undergrad at the University of Limerick, and continuing on past graduation, she has purposefully continued to pursue personal best. She’s now combining her elite level training for greatness with studying for a PhD in Sport Psychology. In this Wee Chat Jessie talks about gaining confidence through her later years of competing at the university and how important having that attitude is to her. Although racing against others, her focus has consistently been on trying to improve her personal best, and she believes this outlook is part of what has served her well. Jessie speaks of the mental skills she uses such as reminding herself why she is competing and all of the work that has gone into her training when she feels doubtful of her ability. She also addresses the routines that allow her to prepare for a race, with visualizing what aspects will potentially impact the course as she runs. Jessie also talks of being aware of what her “auto pilot” is when competing, how she needs to fully focus during competition, and mentally what she has done in order to shift her focus back in that trajectory when it is thrown off.
She comes from a family of accomplished track athletes as her brother and also a Wee Chat guest, 2016 Olympian Thomas Barr, competed in the finals of the 400m Men’s Hurdles in Rio! He broke his own personal best, broke the national record and came 4th, which was such a great achievement and had the whole of Ireland jumping up and down.
Enjoy this Wee Chat with Olympian Jessie Barr.
Check out www.weechats.com/brilliant-people/jessie-barr-track-olympian