Sometimes, racing doesn’t always go to plan. You may have trained the whole year for a specific race and on the day, it just doesn’t go your way. So, how do you mentally break through this perceived failure and use it to drive yourself to become even better?
Well here are a few steps that you can focus on and help yourself to push on and become a better athlete.
First up, acknowledge the failure and accept it. A cyclist that tries to hide their result or make excuses for failure is never going to become a better cyclist. A big part of failing is acknowledging the failure and using that to push harder in training and racing. But this cant be done unless a cyclist takes full responsibility for his/her performance.
Secondly, understand what happened and use it as a learning opportunity. Visually go through the race and write down things that you did well, and things that you could have improved on. Use this information in future to avoid making the same mistakes as last time. If that means having a pre-race routine or checklist to make sure you have all the gear you need organized before the race then do it! The amount of times I have seen people turn up at the start of a race without their bottles, sun glasses and even helmets you wouldn’t believe! Checklists work, that’s why medical professionals and emergency workers always use them. If you do them properly, you cant forget things.
Making the decision to bounce back is the next step in overcoming failure. It may be beneficial to write down your reasons of “why” and understand what goals you have. If your reasons are strong enough you can turn almost any failure into a positive. Once the decision has been made to use the failure and turn it into a positive driving force to become better… nothing can stop an athlete in this mindset. It is all in the mind and if you can visualise the path you want to take and the goals you want to achieve you are already inspiring yourself and motivating yourself to succeed.
Converting your weaknesses into your strengths is the next step. If you know that you lost the race in the technical descents, then you know this is the area you need to work on. Integrate this type of skills work into your training program and spend a day or two a week just descending. Repetition is key and making sure that you are doing the desired weakness in all weather types and in as many different courses as possible.
The last and arguably the most important aspect of bouncing back from failure is gratitude. It may sound like a small insignificant point however it is important to have gratitude towards life and in particular your situations so that you can find happiness and contentment. We have to be grateful for the opportunities that we have in life and realizing the value of what we have. Be grateful for what you have and you will always operate with that single principal in your mind and failure wont seem to weigh you down as much. Be humble in your success and in your failure and learn to put all of these techniques into play when you finish that race without your desired result.
So if you feel like it’s time to hit the training again but your may need a little external help, PCS Coaching may be the answer for you. With full support and mentoring, PCS can provide your with the knowledge, education and that little extra piece you may have been missing. Head to this link and watch my free training and see if my experience may be the answer for you…
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!