I wrote these tips for a Road Cycling Club who were taking on the challenge of cycling from John O'Groats to Lands End. Recently a friend told me about a 300 mile cycling challenge he was taking on and so I though they might be useful to post here! 1. Before you start each day together or individually visualise the days cycling ahead - what will you:-
- Hear (both inside your head as well as externally i.e. what will you be saying to yourself)
- Feel (again both internally and externally)
and imagine how you will feel when you have accomplished that days cycling.
2. Acknowledge that there will be easy times and tough times. Remember to enjoy the easy parts and knowing that there will be tough times means you can prepare mentally for them and they won't come as a big shock to the system!
3. Be careful of using the word don't. i.e. 'don't stop' - our brain deletes the negative 'don't' and just understands the 'stopping' this is what it tells the body to do and you end up stopping! Give yourself a positive mantra to repeat instead.
4. As cyclists you physically work as a team - make sure you also mentally work as a team. Take it in turns to be navigator, cheerleader, the one who points out the amazing places you're cycling past!
5. Give yourself a pat on the back both mentally and physically at the end of each day - have a reward.
This weekend saw some great results from members of this group - please do share them so we can all cheer each other on - although I will mention Niki who had two days, two races, two 1st's - brilliant unleashing of potential and today's quote is dedicated Niki.
On a personal note my running achievements this weekend at Thunder Run 24 gave me a great boost in confidence for my Autumn training and getting back to the Ultra's next year!
As I'm going to be in a field for the next couple of days taking part in Thunder Run 24 #allin I'm not sure if I'll be able to post on here tomorrow so thought I would bring Saturday Silliness forward a day and as it's the start of the holidays for many, I thought this would be appropriate...
As we get ready for the start of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow I am hoping that just as at London 2012 Olympics we will have commentators, athletes and retired athletes talking about how the mind can effect sports performance and talking about it openly. Coaching and training the mind is not just for when you have an issue it is very much about enhancing performance.
So what can we learn from the beliefs held by elite athletes that we can take into our own sporting, life or business arena.
'I don't own winning, I wanted to win' - Carl Lewis
'Top athletes perceive pressure as a privilege' - Tom Bates
'...pressure so high at that point, all things being equal it's the person who handles that moment and the pressure at that particular time best, that's going to have their best performance' - Michael Johnson
'I'm about to go to battle' - Michael Johnson
'Four years preparation for a few moments of action' - Matthew Syed
'Control the controllables' - Sir Matthew Pinsent
'You can only control how you perform' - Michael Johnson
'Thoughts become things and what we think affects the way we feel and the way we feel ultimately affects the way that we behave and ultimately in the sporting context - performance' - Tom Bates
'Find something that works for you' - Jonathan Edwards
'That minute difference between victory and defeat on the biggest stage of all is often to be found not in skill or effort but in the recesses of the mind' - Matthew Syed
Take a moment to think about a situation or activity you have coming up where you want to be at your best. Pick one of the quotes above and think about your situation as if you hold that thought to be true - what does it tell you now about how you see and feel about the situation - what will you do differently? What will you do the same?
Whether you are an athlete or in business, competing in any arena you needs to have mind and body working together and mental coaching techniques will help you achieve your goals and perform in the most competitive of environments.
The model below I use with athletes so they can see the different areas that coaching can work with - these are as relevant for business as they are for sport. Using this model means we can pick an area to work on, rather than 'everything' - which can feel overwhelming
So which area do you want to concentrate on and what winning mentality will you have today? Annie Live, Laugh,Enjoy
With so much sport on at the moment people are feeling inspired and so I thought a short piece from my book (shameless plug) about how we can get started, whether as a newbie or coming back from injury or time off. So here is an extract from my e-book 'How to get off the Sofa and Start Running'.
Getting your mind in your run
"There are people who have no bodies, only heads. And many athletes have no heads, only bodies. A champion is a man who has trained his body and his mind"
- Coach Sam Dee The Olympian
However much your body might want to go for a run, if your mind isn’t interested it’s unlikely that you will get out the door.
We can be very good at talking ourselves out of doing something and so when you first start running it’s really good to think of some outcomes that you want to achieve.
You can break these down from your long term outcome and then smaller ones in order to keep you on track.
For instance a long term outcome maybe to take part in a race, do a particular time, fit into a particular pair of jeans.
Your short term outcomes can then be to run 3 times a week, to do a certain amount of mileage in a week, or spend a certain amount of time running each week.
Our brains work really well when it knows what we want to achieve and so if you have a good outcome in place this can help on those days it seems more tricky to get out the door!
To create a great outcome think about what you want to achieve and then build up a movie of it in your mind, what can you see happening when you have this outcome, what can you hear and how do you feel. The more detail you can put into this visualisation the more compelling it becomes and the more likely you are to achieve it.
By building this vision at the beginning it can mean that on those odd days when you can’t be bothered you can bring this vision to the fore and it will help you get out the door.
I have a philosophy that on any given day running can be 10% physical and 90% mental. If you are going to spend time training your body to do what you want it to do, surely the same thinking goes for training your brain!
And that’s not just for running…..
If you want to read the whole book which includes a 12 week Sofa to 5K plan you can order through:-