Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Want The Win

With the road season behind us (for most of us) and CX season here, many racers can now look at their past season and asked the questions of whether it was successful or not.  Also, what will the cyclocross season hold.

What makes a successful season?  I think for most racers it is a higher than last year number of wins.  What if you are not a winning cyclist?  How close did you come to that win?

These are the type of questions I have asked myself.  These questions along with some serious realizations have really shaped my mindset and motivated me for not only the CX season, but for next year's road season as well.

How many times has this been you?

How about this?

This last year I started becoming very interested in sports psychology.  I bought a book called "Mind Gym".  There was a section in that talked about athletes self-destructing themselves because they were afraid to win.  Afraid to win, seriously?  Then I thought about cycling.  What are the efforts that many times put you in a winning position?  They are hard and explosive.  If they don't succeed you stand a great chance of being dropped.  Is being dropped embarrassing to you?

One of the things I did this year was put on my stem a saying.  My stem had the phrase "Want the Win".  It reminded me that I needed to want the win more than I feared the loss.  I don't think that I completely did that this year.  I think it helped improve my confidence but I don't think I totally moved from fearing to lose.  A perfect example was the final race of the year at Bay Days.  I wanted to win and even asked my team to help set me up.  That request really put the fear of the loss high up.  When you tell people you can win, you should probably win.  My team did the perfect job.  I should have attacked on the last lap in corner number three.  That distance away is my specialty.  However, I feared that if I went too early and failed, that I would be embarrassed and let the team down.  Instead I followed an attack that occurred and waited until the final stretch where I wasn't able to go around.  I played it safe and lost.

My wife just got me a Road ID.  The saying on bottom is "WANT THE WIN".  That is how I plan to race from this point on.  It may mean being dropped at times when I put it all on the line, but I want that win.
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