His way of thinking was, why change an approach that has brought him so much success? Let's face it, once you find a 'formula for success', you never need to change it unless it stops bringing you the results. So it comes as no surprise to me that Thorpe will use his 'usual' preparation for the Olympics, because routines are a normal part of most successful swimmers' preparation.
However, the truly amazing thing about this (when you think about it) is that he prepares for other meets the SAME WAY as he prepares for the Olympics! He obviously has a built-in routine, or ritual, which he follows for ALL meets - regardless of their size or importance. He has established a comfortable preparation for every race he swims, which has proven to bring him results, and as this routine has brought him so much success, he is wise not to change it for the Olympics.
Routines (especially the ones that bring you great results) can often help to make you feel more comfortable before a big meet or just before a race - as they can help overcome some of the nerves which go with these events. Routines help to make races and meets feel 'familiar' - even if you are swimming at a strange pool and surrounded by people you have never met.
This is very important, because feeling comfortable is an important ingredient in your mental preparation, because if you feel tense from your surroundings, it can affect your results. When swimmers from all over the world converge on Sydney next month to compete in the Olympics, they will all bring their own particular, personal routines and rituals which make them feel familiar and comfortable with their 'strange' surroundings.
When I talk about routines, I mean both your training routine (in the weeks before a meet) and also your personal routine just before each race. This can become your own personal 'formula for success' which may bring you consistently strong results. It's important to find routines which suit you and feel comfortable, no-one can really tell you exactly how to do this.
However, a good tip may be to discuss it with your coach, or to try copying the routines of successful swimmers, and seeing which ones suit you best and bring you the consistent results you desire. As your routines becomes stronger and more 'entrenched, the more confidence you will feel during races. Then, as your routine brings you more PB's and success, your overall confidence and inner-belief will increase - which will bring you more success in the future! So what's a good mental routine, you ask? A regular session of visualization - picturing in your mind the perfect swim for the race you are about to swim. There are few mental techniques more powerful than this - but remember, you also need physical routines as well, and it's up to you to create them. So find yourself a formula for success, and then stick to it. This is another secret of success used by champions throughout the ages.
The Mind controls the body, and the mind is unlimited. The best of success,