How I Prime – Olympic Speed Skater Brittany Bowe

Brittany Bowe: How I Prime

How I Prime is a new series where we share stories of Primed Mind users activating their best selves.

In this first edition, we speak with Olympic Speed Skater Brittany Bowe. We discuss how her mindset plays a role in her success. Plus, she tells us how she makes Primed Mind an integral part of her performance routine.

Meet Olympic Speed Skater Brittany Bowe

Brittany Bowe is one of the USA’s most decorated speed skaters. Brittany qualified for the 2014 Olympics Games in Sochi. And in the 2018 Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, she took home a Bronze Medal in the Team Pursuit.

Brittany recently reclaimed the 1000m Gold Medal at the World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen, Netherlands—a title she previously held twice before in 2015 and 2019. And at the time of the writing, Brittany is the world-record holder for the 1000m, with a time of 1:11.61.

Brittany Bowe Medal

Hey Brittany, welcome to How I Prime! When did you first realize that working on your mindset had an impact on your performance?

I feel very blessed that mental toughness, preparation, drive, perseverance—just the whole aspect of never giving up—was instilled in me from a very young age. Both of my parents are educators and have been athletes and coaches, so it was just a part of my upbringing.

Fast-forward to today, I continue to focus on my mindset. In my current sport of long-track speedskating (and as an athlete in general), I’m always working hard while training in the gym and on the ice. But it wasn’t until around four years ago that I turned my focus equally to recovery and mental training.

In the last few years, I’ve come across great people who gave me the tools to succeed on and off the ice. And that‘s how I started dialing in on the mental aspect of my performance.

How does mindset work fit into your training routines?

Mindset work is something I fit into my training routine every single day. I use visualization a ton. I visualize my training before I go to bed.

We get our program a week in advance. It tells us what we will be doing every single day. And before I go to bed each night, I picture my training. 

I imagine how I want things to go; I imagine how I want my body to feel.

That sets me up for success each day.

Does every day go according to plan? Absolutely not. But that continually gives me an edge and an advantage throughout training.

Where do you fit mindset work into your race day routine?

My mindset preparation for race day begins way before the actual day of the race.

Leading up to the race, I visualize what my race day routine will look like. I visualize what will happen as I go throughout my day. Then I hone in on the time I get to the oval. I visualize the gun going off and the entirety of my race. And I imagine, feel, and see myself being victorious.

Lately, I’ve been working with Elliot Roe and doing hypnosis the night before a race, and that has just been incredible. It has had a powerful impact on my performance.

On race day, I wake up feeling like I’ve already done this. I’ve already seen my success. I’ve already felt the victory, and it helps me stay grounded and control my anxiety and nerves.

It sets me up beautifully to have a successful outcome.

How does Primed Mind help you perform your best?

As an athlete—and I should say, as any professional person—recovery is so important.

Leading up to a big race, a job interview, an important presentation, a big match, whatever it is, it’s stressful. I am almost certain nobody sleeps like a baby the week and night leading up to a stressful event.

I’ve really gravitated towards the Sleep section of Primed Mind to help restore, recover, and just let everything go. It’s important to remind myself that the work is done, and now it’s time to recover. It’s time to turn the mind off. It’s time to rest. And those Primers help me achieve that deep and peaceful rest.

I also use the Recovery Courses when I have a race one weekend, and then I have just a week off before another really important race. The Recovery Course puts me in the right mindset to recover properly and sets me up for success.

What’s your best piece of advice for someone looking to tap into their full potential of performance?

You have to be physically prepared. You have to be mentally prepared. You have to be recovered. When I find myself in the perfect mindset, it’s because I feel completely prepared.

Being perfect on the ice only gets me so far. There are many bigger, faster, more technically sound skaters than I am, but I find myself on top more times than not. I attribute that to having a mental edge on my competition.

As you’re trying to reach the pinnacle of your craft, your job, your sport—having all of the pieces align comes from being fully prepared. And a huge part of that is the mental side of things.

Thanks, Brittany! Best of luck on the track this year!

We’ll follow Brittany as she prepares to qualify for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

We hope you enjoyed the first installment of How I Prime. We’ll continue to bring you stories like this that showcase how people from all walks of life use Primed Mind to activate the best version of themselves. 

If you’re ready to Prime your Mind, download Primed Mind today! Check out the Sleep Section and try our Recovery Course to mentally prepare you for success in your life. Plus, when you start your free 7-day trial to Primed Mind Plus, you unlock our complete library of over 200 Primers. Start today and get Primed like Brittany!