An athlete trains at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center on February 17, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV)
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For everyday athletes hoping to glean more than vague inspiration from watching the elite compete at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, fitness experts say let the mind games begin.The creator of "Fit As a Pro" workout DVDs said she always relished hitting the field, playing against the boys and even driving two hours to play against the best high school in her state.Sharon Chirban, a sports psychologist with Children's Hospital Boston who has worked with Olympian skiers, hockey players and figure skaters, said along with talent, determination and commitment, the elite athlete exhibited a high tolerance for frustration and challenge.Gregory Chertok, a sports psychology coach and mental skills trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine, finds that elite athletes eagerly embrace the mental game, happily honing practice tools such as visualization and relaxation techniques to manage anxiety.
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