Dealing with anxiety helped produce best season ever - Shiffrin
Mikaela Shiffrin says handling her anxieties was key to a record-breaking FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup campaign in 2018-19.
Shiffrin is on course to become the most successful skier – male or female – in World Cup history after picking up another 17 victories this season.
Despite her unbelievable success, Shiffrin has previously admitted to struggles with anxiety, amid doubts as to whether she can continue to maintain her level.
But in 2018-19 the American says she was able to control those concerns and she reaped the rewards.
The 24-year-old retained her overall globe for the third successive campaign, adding a sixth slalom crown and maiden titles in giant slalom and super-G.
Shiffrin also won two golds – in the slalom and super-G - at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Are, and a bronze in the giant slalom.
Of course when I mentioned doing an end-of-season-happy-dance everyone was like OMG DO IT...& due to my mild obsession with shuffle dancing I thought it would be appropriate to show off the only moves I know... it’s not much but I’m proud so go easy, mmk? #HappyDancepic.twitter.com/HKn6ClVwB1— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) March 21, 2019
"This season has felt totally different," she told the Today Show. "In previous seasons I had talked about anxiety and that's something that I didn't feel at all this season.
"I think I went into this season with a different mentality, just thinking 'I've got to try and enjoy this more'.
"Every race is not life or death, and there's no reason for me to be this anxious about any of it. I love this sport, I'm so lucky to be doing it and I want to enjoy it.
"And that's how this whole season went, I sort of lowered my expectations but I kept my standards and my skiing high. If I won, I won. And if I didn't, then okay I'll just go back to work and try to get faster.
"[And] it was my best season ever and my happiest season ever!"