One of the biggest hurdles to consistency in sport is often yourself. A wise owl once said that “the only thing you can actually control is your attitude.”
If you think about it, how often has your attitude improved or ruined a session for you? Perhaps some of the following comments are relatable?
“I can’t hit those targets.”
“I have a puncture; I can’t get out on my bike!”
“The pool is shutting early, there is no point.”
A lot of these reactions can be enhanced or overridden by your attitude. None of the comments above is what anyone wants to experience. However, our attitude and how we deal with different situations is part of the training process.
If you extrapolate it out, getting angry, frustrated, or overly emotional about something beyond your control won’t actually help you. This is often seen in the few minutes before a race. A flustered athlete is racing around because something isn’t perfect, desperately trying to make everything just so before their big day. If they had a better grasp of their attitude in the training sessions before the race, they may find that their response before the race start would be more helpful. After all, getting flustered won’t solve the problem. We can train this by creating (sometimes we don’t need to make them, they happen!) imperfect scenarios in training.
So the next time you are faced with an imperfect scenario in training such as: your pool closing early, your goggles breaking before a session or getting a puncture meaning you miss a group ride, instead of seeing it as the end of the perfect world, see it as an opportunity to test your attitude in the face of adversity. See it as another chance to build your race-day character because the athlete who can accept, adapt and overcome hurdles in training, when life is more likely to throw you curve balls, will be better equipped to respond to whatever comes their way on race day. This will then in turn only increase the probability that success will fall in their favour.
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