When I first started racing a decade ago, I wanted to know what I could do to train my mind to become a champion.
Since discovering a love and passion for all things sport psychology related, my bookshelves and mind are filled with mental tools I’d like to share. Below are a few tips on how those around you can help you step it up this coming season and prepare you for any goals you may have.
Surround yourself with positive people and those you admire.
We all have cycling heroes, both locally and abroad. I’m fortunate to work with Alison Powers, the only person in history to win all three USA National Championships in one year and who has mastered teaching technical skills. I learn something new every time I’m around her. What I admire most is that she’s upbeat, positive and loves to teach. Her demeanor has a positive impact on how I approach coaching and training. Surround yourself with people you look up to and that are positive.
Observe habits and ask questions.
What is it about successful riders that put them ahead of the rest? What do they do in their down time? What are they reading? How often do they drink while on the bike? What do they do for their mental training? Try some of their habits on for size and see which ones work for you.
Find a mentor. Or two. Or three.
Mentoring is a personal development relationship in which a more experienced or knowledgeable person helps guide a less experienced person. Having multiple mentors can help broaden your knowledge. A mentor is different than a coach since it is relationship based verses task oriented. You hire a cycling coach to get better at cycling. And a mentor can shed some light on cycling but also focuses on the bigger picture.
Be open to other learning opportunities such as other sports. Broadening your perspectives can open up new ways of thinking and approaches. Try looking into tennis, golf, basketball or even Formula One to get a grasp of high performance. People are doing incredible things in all areas of life – don’t limit yourself to just learning from cyclists. Study the greats and you can learn new insights.
If you want to step things up in your performance, look to those who inspire and motivate you to figure out what they’re doing right and implement it in your mental training. Greatness awaits!
Got questions for Jenn or the rest of the ALP Cycles team? Post your question in the comments below or send it to us on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #askalp.
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ALP Cycles Coaching alpcycleslogo – edited is a Boulder-based coaching company with three female coaches at the helm: Alison Powers, Jennifer Sharp and Patricia Schwager.
Each coach brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. Road racing, track, endurance mountain biking, time trialling, making the leap to living and racing in Europe – they’ve got you covered. Find out more about Alison Powers and her Alp Cycles coaching company at here.