We have all been there - those mornings when we want to hit the snooze button instead of hopping on the bike, the moments when we think maybe it would be OK to turn our long runs into a shorter workout. But the folks at Speedo really summed it up best with their campaign slogan, “The Body Achieves What the Mind Believes!” As racers, if you can develop the right mindset, there is little that can stand between you and success.
What does mental toughness look like? While this can vary from person to person, some key characteristic of mentally tough athletes include the following:
- Self-Belief: Do you have an unwavering belief that you can achieve your goals? What distinctive qualities do you have that perhaps your opponents may be lacking?
- Motivation: What is your “WHY?” Why do you compete? What is it that drives you to continue training and competing? Is your WHY motivation enough to bounce back from setbacks that occur?
- Focus: Are you able to focus on your goal despite what is going on around you? When training or racing are you able to minimize your own internal distractions or distractions caused by others?
- Composure: How do you handle the unexpected? Do you thrive under pressure rather than let the inevitable race anxiety control you?