Alex Puccio, writing about her mindset prior to winning her 9th National Championship in bouldering:
I always feel more pressure for ABS Nationals than any other Pro competition in the country. I think most of it is due to the fact that I have been National Champion for many years and therefore many people expect me to do well. Most people think that the longer you do competitions and do well at them that the easier it gets mentally, but for me it actually gets harder. I know a lot of top athletes that share the same feelings as well. Because I have achieved so much, I have so much more to lose. It feels as if it would be such a big deal to everyone around me if I were unable to defend my title. And it’s bound to happen at some point!