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Sports Psychology, Long Distance Runnning And The Heart Of A Champion

Posted by: Dr. Granat on April 24, 2007

Last week I was interviewed by a documentary film company that is creating a movie

about the run around the world completed by Serge Roetheli and his wife Nicole

Roetheli. The filmmakers wanted my thoughts and insights into what can empower

a man and his wife to sell all their belongings and embark on a run that took them

to every corner of the globe.

The people at Mogul One Productions, LLC seemed particularly interested in

what motivated Serge to take on this monumental task. They were also quite interested

in how Serge’s relationship with his wife contributed to his desire and ability to complete

this mission. Nicole followed Serge on his journey on a moped. They lived in tents and

underwent many physical hardships as they circled the the world.

In my view, there were several factors which helped Serge to complete his mission.

First, he was very committed to the underprivileged children whom he was trying

to raise money for through his efforts. During his adventure, he would always stop to

interact with kids, even if it meant it would prevent him from meeting his daily goal

and staying on schedule. Serge seemed determined to raise money so that kids around

the world who needed eye surgery would be able to have these procedures performed

by International Vision Quest, a non profit, charitable organization.

Second, Serge had been a member of the Swiss Olympic Boxing Team. I believe

that his ring experience helped him to develop the tenacity and mental toughness he

needed to stay focused and complete his journey.

Third, Serge has also been a mountaineer and he appears to be a man who loves

being in close contact with nature. There were probably some days that he really enjoyed

the scenery that he encountered on his run. This helped to make the run fun for him.

Fourth, Nicole and Serge are very close and there is a good chance that he could

not have completed this run without her friendship and support.

Fifth, Serge seems to have been on a spiritual mission that would allow him to

make a contribution to children, to mankind and to planet earth. He never lost sight

of his goal and the idea of quitting or failing never entered into his mind.

I have coached many remarkable athletes over the years. However, this man

is quite unique and quite special. He really epitomizes the heart of a champion and his

efforts will serve as wonderful role model for many athletes and non athletes around the


Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist who coaches top athletes. He is the author
How To Get In The Zone And Stay In The Zone With Sport Psychology And Self
Hypnosis. Dr. Granat is the Founder of
and can be reached at or at 888 580-ZONE.

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