I was recently asked by a radio reporter what Michael Phelps must be thinking about in relation to his (now successful) quest to win an unprecendented 8 gold medals. The answer is very basic. There is NO WAY that an athlete that is that mentally tough will be wasting his mental energy and focus on these kinds of OUTCOME GOALS. You don’t win gold medals by thinking about and focusing on them when it’s time to compete. You don’t break world records by consciously setting out to do that right before your performances. You don’t hit homeruns by consciously trying to do that up at the plate. I haven’t chatted with Michael Phelps, but I can almost guarantee that when it came to race time his gold medal hunt wasn’t even on his or his coach’s radar screen. Instead, he was focused on the task at hand, in the moment. When you pay attention to the right things, what YOU are doing, in the NOW, your goals will always take care of themselves.