Friday, November 5, 2010

So you say you want to win! But have you done the following?

So you say you want to win! But have you done the following?:
Jamie Croly

1. Find a good WHY. Decide why you are training. What is your goal or objective at the end of the training/racing? The importance of the Why will be critical in the motivation that you have for your training/racing and therefore how much you commit to it. This has to be a something that is important otherwise when the weather is bad, the training is uncomfortable or the racing gets hard you will back off and not achieve success.

2. Deal with the fact that you will be uncomfortable. Almost any worthwhile goal will mean some level of discomfort. Whether you are just wanting to lose a bit of weight or wanting to be Olympic Champion you will have to leave your comfort zone. This does not mean that all training will be brutal but in order to adapt training must stress the body and this involves at least being mildly uncomfortable.

3. Accept change. Improvement involves changing away from the status quo. Doing what you have always done will only give the results you have always had. Change is hard as it involves changing habits and lifestyle, but the reality is that one of the reasons that you are training (the Why) is because you want to change and be different to what you are now.

4. Prepare for your practice ahead of time. This means that any fluids and foods required before, during and after training/racing are made up. Pack your bag with whatever is required including food, clothing, sunblock, and timing/speed devices. Preparing for training/racing also means eating the correct foods and at the right time to enable the body to make effective use of them.

5. Arrive at practice/racing on time. That means plan your wake up and/or transport so that you have more than enough time to get to the training/racing venue by the required time. If that means you have to manage and organise your parents as well so be it. It is your sport and performance and you must take responsibility for it.

6. Conduct a thorough warm up. This means a conscientious process of preparing the body for the main part of the training session or race event. Don’t just go through the motions. It is for your benefit and to enhance the performance of your training/racing.

7. Train/Race like you never want to lose. Whatever mode of training/racing you are doing ensure that it is done at the required intensity, with the optimal technique. This means that you have to think about every stroke/footfall and critically analyse whether it is as good as you can possibly do. If you do not train/race like this there is a reasonable possibility that someone else will and that will be the difference at the line.

8. Warm down properly. The warm down is important to return the body to a state of rest. The warm down includes drinking or eating whatever is required to enhance recovery and improve the next training session/race.

9. Take time to analyse your performance. If the session/race went well reflect on what made it so and ensure that in future you repeat and further improve on those elements. If the session/race went poorly analyse why this was so and make a plan to change the bad parts either through better planning or better implementation.

10. Repeat every day.

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