As we anticipate the season kick-off this Spring, it is important that we prepare ourselves, not just physically, but mentally as well. This is my three-part mini-series entitled “Coaches Corner” for my race program Dirt Camp Racing.
What is your Why?
What is it that drives you forward in the sport? Why do you want to succeed? I hate to break your heart, but your pursuit of excellence in this sport should not be based on results but on what your WHY is. I’ve struggled with finding my ‘place’ and where I ‘should’ be in recent years – worrying about what others think about the things I do. Where you’re supposed to be is right here: at this point in the pursuit.
Define your Success
Realize that the numbers you put on Strava or the position you placed in a race is all relative – it doesn’t tell the whole story. You need to define what success looks like for you so you have a focus. That can look like this:
- Getting into the start loop in the top 10 spots
- Fueling properly by eating all of your gels
- Pacing properly so you are strongest on the last lap
These help build momentum race by race and keep you focused on growth. Trust me when I say that you’re going to have more days that go ‘okay’ than ‘great’ — that’s not to scare you, just to prepare you to be focused on how to approach your events.
Planning, Prioritizing, and Peaking
As much as we love racing, it is extremely important to layout your season in a way that keeps the fire burning and energy levels high.
I break races down into the A, B, and even C categories based on their value + role in an athlete’s calendar.
As = peak events.
Bs = important but not the main focus.
Cs = performance is not critical.
Note: if your focus is on consistently racing for fun and you don’t want to optimize one event, then this layout is not so important.
The other races will have to become B– or even C– events that aid in the process of preparing for an event, are training races, or are simply fun to mix in. This is where mindset comes into play: you have to realize not every event is the World Championships and come into them with clear goals.
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Carson Beckett, 22 // UCI MTB Racer // Coach // // Student // Outdoor Enthusiast