Positive Mental Attitude
Aim to concentrate & focus when working on positive mental training.
Find a quiet place where no one can speak to you or call out your name, no back ground music or outside traffic noise.Turn your mobile phone off.
Lie down and breathe in deeply through your nose and slowly out of your mouth.
Once this becomes second nature you can go into the zone when you are in a queue even at a busy airport. Stare into the pages of a book or magazine and rehearse your positive mental focus.
Tag good positive memories to positive words.
Positive memory = Personnel best = Great feeling = Positive words = FAST
Positive memory = Emotional high = All went to plan = Personnel Best
Think of a high age group position. = PLEASED & PROUD
Think about a very satisfying part of training or racing. How easy it felt and how good you felt. Apprehension about a technical part of the bike course.This is because a good line is a fast line. “A good line is a fast line”
Improving your ability to go faster around a technical corner. Practise around “Let’s do that again” or “I can do that again” rather than” Lets try and do that again”
NEGATIVE TO POSITIVE
Rather than wish I was 1st, think 3rd is much better than 4th in my age group. Use the feeling of what 4th would feel like, to fire you to a higher position.
Key word “GREAT FEELING”
“Let’s do that again” or “I can do that again” rather than ”Lets try and do that again”. Think about when things did not go to plan and still I came out on top. I.e. When you made a mistake but still remained focused and had a good race. Still room for improvement but had a good race result.
EMOTIONAL ON CUE
Link a cue word to a good past experience. This will cause you to raise your performance. Judge yourself by improvement not race results.
Think about – Overtaking another competitor close to the finish to beat them across the finish line. Confidence that made a difference. Use a single word to describe this “Easy” “Just as I wanted” ”Just what I wanted” Use your own words that feel comfortable to say.
Think about sitting reading or watching a DVD or what you find relaxing. Relaxation speed ups the recovery process. This is when your body and mind improves. If you think 24-7-365 you will not be able to be focused 100% when it counts. Take time out from training for a more balanced life style.
RACE MANTRA- RESPONSE WORDS
Self talk with brief single or a few key words. Good positive words that will stimulate a good response.
“FAST” “RELAX” “AERODYNAMIC” “GOOD LINE”
You will need to change these words (your words) as you progress through each racing season because these words will eventually not be stimulating anymore.
If you fail to focus you are preparing to fail. Mental thinking is designed to keep you focused and not become distracted. The less time you are not 100% concentrating and thinking ahead during the competition the fewer mistakes you will make. With seconds important being important the one who concentrates the most is more likely to succeed.
“Good form” Obviously
“Fast again” Getting away from the rest
“Tuck in Tight” Staying aerodynamic.
“The best” Quicker than the rest.
If you find yourself not being able to concentrate then this is a sign you have spent too much time when it did not matter thinking. So you MUST also be able NOT to focus and unwind each day. Difficult for motivated athletes to do!
In the weeks, days and before the start spend 30 seconds saying to yourself.
“Come on Your Name, you CAN do it”
“I can do it”
Once you are developing your mental armoury then is the time to use some music. Always listen to the same music in the same order. From relaxing to high tempo. Relaxing to get you in the right frame of mind, to progressing to getting you ready. Not too upbeat that can cause you to be too fired up and out of control. This may cause you to start off too quickly.
Many a world class athlete have their ear phones attached but do not have music on. They are thinking and do not want to be disturbed and are in the zone. When you have a good performance and can link this with a particular piece of music, now is the time to add this to your recorded sound tracks. Decide where it should fit in the build up to get you ready to perform, something you heard during the event or a tune that you cannot get out of your head.
DURING THE RACE
Have a mantra ideally up to 4 short words.
“You can do it” “I can do it” “Do It” “Come on”
Before your competitions repeat the above or your own words as you visualize competing. Repeat these words not just near the finish when you are tired but every 10 minutes.
Remember how it felt to feel alive and have a satisfying race. Use this energy to your benefit in the future. Be careful as this can cause you not to concentrate what you are doing or make you increase your speed more than you want to.
Tiredness will effect your concentration. Use words that will help.
“Relax” if you feel tight.
“Cool” if you start to feel hot.
Not “Quicker” that I finish the better but “Faster”
Positive self talk to stay in the zone.
“They will have to go much quicker than me” to beat me.
“I am in control” They risk making mistakes to catch me.
“Pace my performance” Let others go too hard and slow down.
EYES AND MIND
Your eyes and mind are connected. If your eyes wander so will your mind. Once your eyes lose focus so will your mind.
When is a mistake a mistake? = When you do it again.
Learn from a mistake towards your racing armoury. Think about the long term, not just tomorrow or the next few months but the YEARS ahead.
Do NOT use the word “What if” “If Only”
Use “I CAN” or “I WILL”
We all have slightly different meanings for words as a result of how they were explained to us when we first learnt the word and how we associated a word to a sensation or stimulus.
I.e. Ice cream – Cold but tastes nice.
Ice cube- Freezing – Makes a drink refreshingly cold.
Speed – Nerve wracking and then Exciting & Thrilling.
QUITTERS NEVER WIN
Remember “Quitters never win & Winners never quit”
Think about finishing your first 2008 race with a broken steerer.You can still beat many with a broken bike. See the ladies winner of the 2008 70.3 who won wirth a broken steer.
“You have to be in it, to win it”
Racing is unpredictable so continue as long as is sensible and possible, but not to risk your health & life. It is far more important to live to fight another day.
You learn more from a disappointing race than a great race.(Great performances are easy to execute)
“The disappointments and struggles of today are the successes of tomorrow.”
Mark has crossed the finish line in over 1,000 events world wide.He has failed to finish 2 events. One he was hit by a car which broke his bicycle and the other he was unwell and still had another 3 hours of racing to go. Sometimes it was more sensible to stop. **************************************************