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Since its inception in 1984, TED has always been about sharing ideas. While it started as a conference covering technology, entertainment, and design, TED has grown to encompass almost all topics. TED Talks seek to share a deeper understanding of the world with the audience and are a great source of inspiration if you find yourself in a mental rut. 

At first glance, these may seem like they have nothing to do with athletics, but give them a listen and you’ll find lessons that will apply to your sport, your life, or whatever situation you’re in. You’re sure to walk away with some profound lessons. Here are my picks for the top TED Talks for athletes

Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are by Amy Cuddy 

Amy Cuddy explores the relationship between body language and the way you feel. You probably realize that often times, your body language is a reflection of the way you feel, but is the inverse also true? Can you change how you’re feeling simply by changing your body language? This is the essential question that Amy Cuddy tries to answer. She found through her research that your body language, non-verbal expressions, and how you carry yourself can all lead to changes in hormone levels that either make you more confident or more stressed. 

Can you fake it ‘til you make it? As Amy has found, it turns out that you can, and even better, you can fake it until you become it. Your body language communicates to others, but it also communicates subtle messages to yourself, which then influences how you feel. 

The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding by John Wooden

When John Wooden defines success, he isn’t simply speaking; he truly lives his word. Known as one of the greatest coaches of all time, he led UCLA to 10 championships, but more importantly, he taught his players that winning was about more than just numbers on a scoreboard. 

Looking Past Limits by Caroline Casey

As athletes, you’re constantly pushing yourself to test your limits. This talk is presented by Caroline Casey, an extraordinary woman who was raised without labels and limits. How? She didn’t know she was legally blind with a condition called ocular albinism; her parents decided to tell her that she could see. In her talk, Caroline shows the world that the only limitations we truly have are the ones we set for ourselves.