So you're doing really well, progressing consistently and hitting those podiums. How do you keep a long term vision and love for the sport without burning out before the peak?
All too often we see riders at a young age with an Olympic dream, only to fizzle out after over training or perceived expectation.
See the below just a few tips to help create a long term athlete:
REST | is a weapon. There are so many reasons for this, but scientifically speaking, rest allows for physiological adaptations in the body to occur and then improve on. Without it, you actually won’t get the improvements you are chasing.
VISION | Create a long term vision, then work out the process back from there. You will find it’s a VERY long road, so don’t sweat the small stuff. Recognise that consistency in a process is what it takes and use that long term vision to stoke the fire.
MIX IT UP | Enjoy another sport? At a young age, do other sports too. All the skill you learn from other sports (skill, balance, reaction, speed) will build an all-round athlete. It also helps to not get too in depth at a young age in one sport. Some of the most successful athletes in the world played a number of sports in their teenage years.
FAIL | Its unavoidable! Ever heard of an athlete that has never ever come up against a challenge, barrier or had bad race/event? Didn’t think so. These challenges are what builds resilience in an athlete and create our biggest learnings! STOP beating yourself up. Welcome the learning. Let it grow you, not define you.
COMMUNICATE | The more you talk to your coach, support, and people involved in your vision, the greater team you will have. Your coach will learn how to get the very best from you, and those around you will know how to best support you. Don’t mistake this pressure due to the fact you have included people. Remember from ‘failure’ comes our biggest growth. They will be next to you regardless!
HAVE FUN | This is the most important. Remember why you ride your bike, and do it for that reason each time your ride. Make sure you fit in some rides with your friends that aren’t structured, find the enjoyment, find the fun and don’t let yourself get comfortable.