IT is not only children who tend to garland their sporting heroes with superhuman status. Given that phenomenon of viewing elite athletes as almost belonging to a superior species entirely, how does Paralympic champion Neil Fachie – with a cupboard-full of medals himself – persuade ordinary people that they can deploy the strategy and mindset behind many sporting success stories to enhance their own lives? Allowing a peek behind the curtain definitely helps.

“Being involved in elite sport myself I’m well aware that most of these athletes are far from the mythical Greek gods that they’re often portrayed as,” he says.

“When I was growing up I was the same. I looked up to my idols and wondered how anyone could ever be like them.

“But when you’re a part of elite sport you realise they’re all just normal people, too. They lack self-confidence like anyone else and have many of the same issues. So it’s about getting that message across that in sport we struggle with things, too.

“We just have systems in place in order to get by and make it to the start line and perform. We’re not special in anyway. It’s just something that we’ve learned to do. And a lot of those messages are transferable to other walks of life.”

Now Fachie has poured those learning into a new book. Published today, Earn Your Stripes: Gold Medal Insights for Business and Life tells the story of how an Aberdonian with a congenital eye condition, that will one day leave him entirely blind, switched from athletics to cycling and went on to become Paralympic, world and Commonwealth champion.

At the last count, the 36 year-old has amassed 26 major medals – 19 of them gold – and he is not finished there. It will take something extraordinary to prevent him appearing at the Tokyo Paralympics next summer, where the ambition will be to top the podium once more.

It has been a far from straightforward journey, however. The frustration at “only” winning silver in Rio in 2016 took him to a fork in the road. Either quit or address his failings. The subsequent soul-searching and reflection led to him chronicling the methodology behind his previous success. That moment of enlightenment also made him realise that this was a blueprint that could apply to most people.

“The book isn’t really about my physical preparation, it’s more about the mental side of things and how you perform in high-pressure situations. And there are little tools and strategies to help with that.

“One of my biggest frustrations – both in sport and in life in general – are people who have a lot of potential who don’t make it. A lot of the most talented people never get to the top of their field. So if I can have a small part to play in helping with that, that would be great. It’s nice to think of making a positive impact on others.”

The one thing Fachie can’t control is his deteriorating vision. Learning to live with that remains one of his biggest challenges but he is grateful to wife Lora – another Paralympic cycling champion – for her enduring support through shared experiences.

“It’s something I really struggled with when I was younger,” he admits. “I got the condition from my mum and she was from the generation of “hide your disability” and I grew up with that mentality for a while. Barely any of my friends at school knew.

“It wasn’t probably until my early 20s that I started to accept my disability more. Getting involved in disability sport meant I had to embrace it more. And I realised that having something unique about you was good.

“I have to accept that at some point in my life I will go totally blind and that’s something I still struggle with. But my wife has been blind since birth and manages fine so she’s a real inspiration that you can still live a great life without sight. It’s nice to have that role model in the house – or someone to give you a kick up the arse really!”

Fachie was also able to call upon another cycling legend – Sir Chris Hoy – to provide the book’s foreword.

“He’s someone I always looked up to even before I joined British Cycling so to then get to train alongside him was incredible,” he adds. “You got to experience not only how he trains but also how he holds himself as a person. He’s one of the most humble men around.

“It was really good of him to provide the foreword given everything he’s achieved in his sporting career and since. And it’s also quite nice just to have someone like that saying kind things about you.”

- Earn Your Stripes – Gold Medal Insights for Business and Life is out today (June 3). For one day only, the Kindle version is available for 99p. See for more info.