This is the time of the season when most people are peaking for a big event. Most likely, one you have been training for all season, or maybe even multiple seasons.
its a time a lot of anxiety and second guessing can take place, trust me I know. I have been there many times.
Think back to what it is you wanted to accomplish this season and why. Take a second to remember that while this season is important, hopefully it fits into a bigger picture. For example, I usually think in about 3 year increments for my athletes. The significance of this is only that the mission of the season should hopefully be to leave you as an athlete in better place then the year started.
So how do you do that?
Back in the beginning of the year I challenged everyone to create the “avatar”. This avatar can do everything you want to do. We want to create a list at the start of each season that identifies what we need to do to get on the same page as the avatar. The race is an opportunity to check progress. Hopefully if you hit them all, it will show. If you missed something, or did something wrong, you can fix it.
Please do not get me wrong. I am NOT telling everyone to not be a competitor. In fact, jsut the opposite. Im trying to get you to relax so you can get a true picture of where you actually stand.
I just watched on a flight to Chicago a documentary called “Strokes of Genius”. It was a story about Federer and Nadal’s rivalry. I know most of us have a rivalry with someone, even with just the clock. Without spoiling the movie what was amazing was each competitor’s internal drive to improve and excel.
At one point one of them facing defeat during a rain delay made the decision that win or lose, he would rise to the challenge. That his competitor may beat him, but he would not “lose”. How awesome is that?
Its no secret at one point Federer did lose. After winning 5 Wimbledon titles - lost. He was of course crushed. Then he realized, he needed to change his game. It needed to evolve. THAT is the chess match I have always liked. It doesn’t mean you cannot get frustrated. It just means there is something bigger than just the next race.
Check in with your training log. Check in with your coach. Ask yourself - “what do I need to do to evolve?” You may know your weakness, but it may take a few cracks at the code to break it. You should not turn that into a negative.
The other thing Nadal’s coach always told him was “good face”. He firmly believed if you are in a bad mood, you are not in a mental state to improve.
So get out there with a good face, and get ready to check in!
Adam Zucco is a USAT Level 2 Coach, the 2011 USAT Developmental Coach of the Year and head development coach for Ben Kanute. He has been doing triathlon for over 25 years with personal Kona qualifications and has qualified dozens of athletes for Kona. He is the head coach for Superfly Coaching and can be found at www.superflycoahing.com