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Faster than Lightning: My Autobiography by Usain Bolt

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You’re not just Usain any more. You’re Usain Bolt, the brand, the business, all the time.’

Usain was large as child, blessed with natural talent so he initially didn’t need to try hard in training. Naturally very competitive when he came second he then became more focused to win as he only wanted to come first.  Initially everyone thought that he was too tall for the 100m. 

Growing up in Jamaica he was disciplined at home to make sure he respected everyone, this respect to others helped him when he was at the top.  His dad taught him when he dished out the whoop-ass: always show good manners.

Was good at cricket but advised that in cricket even if you play better than anyone else, you might not get picked as the coach may have a favourite. However, track and field, it’s on you and no one else,’  you’re the boss of yourself.’

Devoted his time to running the point where he was running so quickly in training that the coaches wouldn’t tell him his times. They didn’t want Usain to get big-headed because his times they were off the scale for a boy his age.  He then felt massive pressure in worlds juniors, which he was not used to and even put his shoes on the wrong feet! At that point he was aged 15 racing and winning against 17/18 year olds. 

Some said overnight he achieved fame, but it was hard work that had been going on for years, Bolt had been running fast for years, with scoliosis and injury added to his challenges.  Winning 100m Olympic golds and breaking world record obviously were important but for Bolt however the 200m was his preferred race.

Appeared relaxed competing in the Olympics as he lived for the energy of a big competition, The World Junior Championships had given him the confidence to perform in a stacked stadium. 

After surviving car crashes felt he became more appreciative about life. Reflected and understood suddenly what he had been given and wanted to make the most of it. He wanted to run even faster and helping other runners.

Bolt learnt that he couldn’t let a negative thought cloud his judgement ever.  There was no  opportunity for doubt because the contest was over in the blink of an eye. Distraction for one hundredth of a second might be enough to lose a race. Mental strength was a tool in every race, as important as a fast start or a powerful drive phase.

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