One Athlete's Mind
Last week I threw around some ideas to think about in regards to being in control of your nerves around races. Today I thought I’d share some more thoughts along the same lines, but with a bit of a different perspective.
Back in my NDC days I was lucky enough to travel to Europe for a 3 week training camp, with the first two weeks focused on big volume on snow, and the third week being more intensity based. By the middle of the third week I was exhausted, physically and mentally, and was having a hard time staying positive in the hard workouts. So in my downtime I decided to surf the web and do some reading in sport psychology, and what I learned turned my week right around, and I was able to finish out the camp strong.
I read about a lot of things that really sparked my interest, but the biggest takeaway for me was the idea of 'controlling the controllables'. This could be another way of describing what I wrote about last week, but with this broader wording I find it to be extremely useful both in sport and everyday life.
The idea is exactly what it sounds like; concern yourself with those things that are in your control, and you will always be prepared for whatever you are trying to do. As for the things that are not in your control, you have no power to influence them, so why bother worrying about them? Instead you can use that time and energy to enjoy what you are actually doing.
One of the things I have always loved about competitive sport is its ability to teach me lessons that will make me successful on and off the race course, and this is a perfect example of that for me. I’ll admit I still have hard times when I am letting myself stress out unnecessarily, but before I started reading about sport psychology, I had no control over my stress levels and things could get pretty ugly. So at least now if things are starting to go south in mind, I have the tools to reset and see whatever the situation may be in a more productive and enjoyable way. And if you’re someone who’s always feeling stressed, I hope this can be helpful for you too!
Until next week,
Jordan Cascagnette, Student-Athlete, Ski Coach