As another new year ticks over, now is the perfect time for reflection. It’s great to reflect on how hard we have worked, what we have achieved and what we have learnt. I personally have had a huge growth year on the personal development front which I will expand on soon. It is also a great time to acknowledge and be grateful for the athletes that I coach and celebrate their many achievements.
These achievements include Cameron Wright securing a professional contract with Giant Factory Off Road Global team and having a very successful year as a first year U23, Michelle Woods 24hr National Age Champion , Phoebe Thompson on winning CX National Age Champion, Brad Clark National Age Champion in XCO & XCM and Tracey Davies winning National Cup XCO Age Champion for 2019, just to name a few. I think all my athletes will agree that in 2019 they all achieved personal bests! All are now focussed on 2020 to be their best year yet! It’s certainly shaping up to be a CRACKER!
Coaching MTB athletes is my passion and while it is hard work at times, the rewards far outweigh that work and in fact for me it doesn’t even feel like work. Helping my athletes to get fast, have fun and achieve their goals is reward enough! But on a larger scale my own personal goals often mirror theirs…refer to my recent blog post which has my open declaration of: By 2032 Olympic Games, I want to be able to say that Australia is ranked 1st in the world for XCO Mountain biking in both Men and Women’s. You can read the whole story here!
The relationships that I develop with my athletes are close as I believe the coach-athlete relationship is crucial to their success. This relationship between athlete and coach has been recognised as one of the highest performance factors to athlete success. Like any other relationship though, it takes time and effort by both parties to form a successful partnership. The coach/athlete relationship should have a high quality of understanding, respect, trust and predictability which I am constantly working hard at developing with every individual athlete.
But nothing comes easy and it is often how hard we work that determines how successful we will become. The key to success is simple when you break it down; have a goal/s, be present, do the work, be consistent! The results will typically follow!
It’s this time of year that I like to sit down and reflect on what we have achieved over the past year, and it is even more powerful to reward oneself when a target/goal or a block of work has been achieved. In conjunction with developing your goals for 2020, make sure you develop an appropriate reward system once the work has been done. It’s very motivating in keeping that momentum going throughout the year.
I mentioned earlier that I have had a huge growth year on the personal development front but it’s probably not that much different than other years except as each year ticks over I am becoming more confident in my own abilities and more comfortable with who I am and my role as a coach as my experiences broaden.
I heard recently that people are either into personal development or they are not, and I am certainly in the camp of the former. I love books and in particular books on personal development. My approach is read them all with an open mind and I might end up using 1 or 2 nuggets from each book and incorporate into daily life. I’ve probably read a couple of hundred or so in my lifetime (probably more….Matt would say a lot more) but this year was the first year I actually wrote down and kept of record of what I read in 2019. Some of the books are for business and some are for personal development and one book in particular I will use for my coaching as it was about sport related success. Disclaimer: I am not a trained book reviewer, and these are my own personal opinions!
1. Everything is F*cked – a book about hope by Mark Manson. I love how Mark Manson writes but I can understand how a lot of other people might not like him either! I loved this book! More philosophical than self-help. Best nugget from this book – Don’t hope for better. Just be better. Another way of looking at it is stop reading self-help books and live your best life! Haha!
2. Unstoppable by Ben Angel. This book is next level biohacking with all bases covered with NLP, nootropics, identifying food allergies, probiotics to upgrade your mind, ketosis and numerous other tips/tricks (or gimmicks???) A very decorative guide if you could be bothered. I just found it a bit over the top. There are probably a few good nuggets in there, but I was probably already doing some of them.
3. Why Winners Win; What it Takes to be Successful in Business and Life by Gary Pittard. I LOVED THIS BOOK! Written by a Real Estate Agent from Brisbane (but whatever), his writing was simple and to the point. He had a few references in there on selling real estate but if you are selling anything (including your personal brand) then it is relatable to everyone. Nugget 1: People fail because they have no goals, no plan, no targets and no vision! Nugget 2: People also fail because of minimum effort!!! This book was full of nuggets and if you are into personal development, then I recommend buying it!
4. eSCAPE; the 4 stages of becoming a successful entrepreneur by Anik Singal. This book was highly motivating and upon reading it, I wrote my open declaration. Nugget 1: the power of an open declaration gives you accountability, creates a rally/movement and keeps you focussed.
5. High Performance Habits; How extraordinary people become that way by Brendon Burchard. The author is personal coach to super stars such as Oprah Winfrey and Larry King. I also follow him on-line profile and he has some excellent practical tips that can easily be used in everyday life. The book expands on 6 habits that he studied on high performers and gives practical advice on getting clarity, generating energy, raising necessity, productivity, influence and courage. Nuggets galore…too many to list!
6. Go Girl; an inspiring journey from Bronze to Gold by Natalie Cook. If you like reading about sport, buy this book! If you want to become successful in sport, Natalie Cook captures the pure essence of what it is be mentally tough. Being the underdogs in the 2000 Olympics having never won a match to winning the gold beach volleyball medal on Bondi Beach is now forever etched in my mind and how she and her partner actually achieved it. Use Go Girl as a practical manual for attaining your own gold-medal excellence and realise that everyone can go for gold and get it! Nuggets: I think I highlighted every page pretty much!!!! But here are a few of the best. Nugget 1: Unless learning is implemented, it’s just theory. Nugget 2: Physical limitations only mean what we allow them to mean; the mind can do anything if we learn to control it. Nugget 3: Practice GME (Gold Medal Excellence); in all areas of our lives. Nugget 4: Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right! I saved the best book until last!
I’ll keep reading the self-help books even if they are the same information regurgitated. They are a great reminder to keep working hard, pushing boundaries and they are very motivating to reach higher levels of coaching knowledge and success.
Happy New Year! Happy Training!
High Performance Mountain Bike Coach
My speciality is helping serious and recreational mountain bikers break through plateaus to attain higher levels of performance so that they can get fitter, faster, stronger and win more races!