One Athlete's Mind
In sitting here prepping for some athlete meetings this afternoon, I had an idea. Obviously I enjoy skiing as an athlete, but I've been testing the waters of coaching for the past couple years now and thought I'd start sharing some ideas through this handy blog of mine.
In an individual sport like cross country skiing it's easy to let your nerves get the better of you before a race. Sometimes you're lucky to have teammates around you who can help keep you in a good head space, but the reality is once your race has started, you really need to be able to keep your mind in check on your own. So I devised this short list for athletes to keep in mind if they are ever starting to feel their nerves take over leading up to a race/event.
- Training: Everything you've done in your training season
- Equipment: Making sure your equipment is in the best shape possible
- Mindset: Embracing the enjoyment that your sport brings you
- Preparation: Giving your body adequate sleep and nutrition, and being ready on the start line
(I was hoping it would make a cooler acronym than "TEMP", but it'll have to do for now)
At a race, regardless of the level of competition or what the stakes are, we are always trying to do the same thing: make our way around the course as fast as we possibly can. And as intimidating as our opponents can be, or as high as the stakes may be, those things have absolutely no bearing on our own performance, unless we let them. So instead of stressing about all that scary stuff, if an athlete takes care of their TEMP (crappy acronym, but I'm going with it) and feels good about it, they can feel nothing but ease and excitement for the chance to see what they are really capable of.
With the frequency that ski/running racing and coaching cross my mind these days (as an athlete/coach/student in a coaching course), I'm hopeful that this will be the first of many athlete tip posts!
Until next time,
Jordan Cascagnette, Student-Athlete, Ski Coach