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How Olympian Manteo Mitchell uses Muse to enhance his performance

Julia Park

Mental strength plays a crucial role in sports training as it can determine the difference between victory and defeat. Whether you're lining up the perfect shot or making a critical pass to a teammate, even minor lapses in concentration or surges of anxiety can significantly impact performance.

Manteo Mitchell stands among a select group of athletes who have not only dreamed of but have actually competed in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. As a competitor in track and bobsledding, Manteo recognizes that reaching a physical peak is only part of the equation—mental preparedness is equally crucial for striving and performing at one's best.

That's why he incorporates Muse, an EEG device, into his training regimen to sharpen his mental edge. Neurofeedback is gaining popularity among athletes for its ability to monitor brain activity and identify non-optimal mental states or distractions, helping them to maintain focus when it matters most.

Manteo’s journey with Muse

Manteo, transitioning from track and field to bobsledding is quite a leap! What inspired you to take on this challenge, and how has your background in sprinting influenced your approach to bobsledding?

It's a leap, for sure! I’ve always been one to push the limits of athleticism and chase history. My professional sprinting background helped with the transition to bobsled. There’s so much more within the sport of bobsled, but sprinting has been the springboard. 

Since moving from track and field to bobsledding, how has your training approach evolved, and how has Muse played a role in your preparation?

Training has changed. This sport involves a lot of power and explosiveness, as does track, but this is for a shorter period. We also endure more trauma to the body as a whole with the pressures we experience and possible head injuries as well due to crashing. Muse has helped keep my mind ready to tackle demanding training and race days and, most importantly, recovery!

Reflecting on both your track and bobsledding careers, have there been moments where you felt mentally unprepared before a competition?

In my first few years of college track, I would often convince myself I wasn’t good enough and that I didn’t really belong. With hard work came results, and that mindset quickly changed. Fast-forward to 2011 and beyond, and I don’t think anything can stop me mentally. I believe you can be the most physically fit person on the planet, but nothing will work like it should if your mind isn’t fit, so we stay on top of our mental game for sure! 

Considering focus and coordination are essential skills for bobsledding, how has neurofeedback training with Muse affected your mental awareness and reaction times?

Using Muse for neurofeedback has been a game-changer for my focus and coordination on the ice. Bobsledding is more than just speed and physical agility—it's a highly strategic sport where every split second and subtle movement counts. Aerodynamics plays a crucial role as we navigate the icy track, making it essential for me to stay mentally attuned, sharp, and aware. 

The Muse EEG headband helps me achieve this with its precise biofeedback and advanced sleep sessions, ensuring my mind is clear and focused, optimizing both my performance and recovery.

You demonstrated remarkable resilience by running with a broken fibula during the 2012 Olympics. In your view, can athletes mentally prepare for injuries? Could you share insights into your approach to recovery, both for specific injuries and as an integral part of your overall training regimen?

The short answer is YES! But are you willing to put in the work? That's the real question. Athletes often overlook crucial aspects of their training, such as sleep, recovery, nutrition, and mental preparedness—all of which significantly influence performance.

Of course, eating the right foods fuels your body to sustain the rigors of training while getting quality sleep, which is essential for recovery. However, adding mental preparation techniques like visualization and breathing exercises is vital. I find Muse neurofeedback technology particularly helpful in this area. Muse helps me fine-tune my mental state through targeted exercises focusing on my mind and breath that enhance focus and relaxation. 

Mental training is so important to me in preventing hiccups that can lead to injuries. Since using Muse, I’ve noticed improvements in my performance during training. It has equipped me with the ability to plan ahead and maintain consistency in my performance.

Check out our collections of over 500+ meditations, including the Performance collection >>

What advice would you give young athletes in track and field or bobsledding about incorporating mental training into their practice routines?

JUST DO IT! You won’t regret it—trust me on that! If what’s between your ears (your brain) isn’t ready and primed, you can forget what the body can do for you. Build them both and watch your success skyrocket. As athletes, we are fortunate to have tools like Muse at our disposal. Training your brain is essential—it gives you a distinct advantage over your competitors.

Becoming one of the few athletes to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games and notably the first Black male to achieve this would be a historic accomplishment. Can you share your thoughts on what reaching this milestone would mean to you personally and its significance in the broader context of sports history?

People typically say things linger in the back of their minds, but this goal is at the forefront of my mind. While it's true that (bobsledding) is a team sport, that doesn’t mean I can’t pursue personal goals as well. Achieving this would be life-altering not just for me but also for others. It’s for those who look like me, my family, and those on the verge of giving up who need little inspiration. History is just that, but this achievement is so much more. To be the first etched in stone would be an honor. Hopefully, it will happen, and someone else will be inspired just like me to do it too! 

Check out below on what Manteo has to say about the Muse S Headband!


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