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Lets talk sports psychology

Old 09-05-13, 11:02 PM
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Jaytron
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Lets talk sports psychology

What goes through your guys' heads before a big race?

How do you get in the zone?

How do you overcome the jitters if it's a super important race?


For me, I'm super nervous the whole time before I get on the track for a race. So far I've been able to keep focus once I'm actually in the saddle, but it's inevitable that I'll run into one where focusing is tough. Mass start races are also very different as you have some time to settle in. With sprint events, this is typically not the case.


I'm racing in District State Champs this weekend, so I'm sure these tips will come in handy. I don't really expect to finish too well as this is my first year of racing, but who knows.
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Old 09-05-13, 11:24 PM
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What goes through your guys' heads before a big race?

Ah, **** everything.

How do you get in the zone?

I sit alone and I think, ah, God dammit. And I warm up.

How do you overcome the jitters if it's a super important race?

I remind myself that we're all just headed toward the heat death of the universe so nothing matters.

Basically, I think you're just gonna have to find what works for you. What makes you nervous? Thinking you'll lose? You're gonna lose a lot of races. Being afraid of being in a position to win? Figure it out, and then give yourself reasons to believe that what you think and feel is stupid. That's what works for me!
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Old 09-05-13, 11:26 PM
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Understand that, by now, it should all be routine, even for a 1st or 2nd year racer. If you've raced all season, then you've got the routine already. When you do this stuff enough you'll start to switch into auto-pilot.

It's OK to have jitters. Think of it as free energy that you didn't have in training

Also, don't do anything new or different. A lot of people get the urge to "go big" for a big race and throw on a bigger gear that they are used to...and fall flat on their faces. I did this at Masters Nationals once during sprints.

Remember, to eat well the day before the race. That's what will fuel race day more than what you eat on race day itself.
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Old 09-05-13, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by carleton View Post
Understand that, by now, it should all be routine, even for a 1st or 2nd year racer. If you've raced all season, then you've got the routine already. When you do this stuff enough you'll start to switch into auto-pilot.

It's OK to have jitters. Think of it as free energy that you didn't have in training

Also, don't do anything new or different. A lot of people get the urge to "go big" for a big race and throw on a bigger gear that they are used to...and fall flat on their faces. I did this at Masters Nationals once during sprints.

Remember, to eat well the day before the race. That's what will fuel race day more than what you eat on race day itself.
This is something that has never occurred to me!

Diet is always so tough for me. I'm not sure when I'm eating too much/little etc. But generally what you're saying is eat healthy, and definitely don't make the day before a "cheat" day.
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Old 09-06-13, 12:15 AM
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It depends on your personality. It doesn't help me at all to get all intense and serious. But you must have a plan for your race, know that your gear is set, know how long until you race, and once you have that stuff set, you can relax and have fun. When it's time to go, I just get up and do it, without thinking about it much. It's really easy to over-think and be self-defeating. I see this a lot, and have definitely done it from time to time. Just be cool and have fun. It's for fun, right?
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Old 12-03-19, 11:03 PM
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Good luck to you.
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Old 12-04-19, 04:03 AM
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One thing that helps me get out of my own head is getting on the rollers, forces me to concentrate on something and quiets the internal chatter. During carnivals I tend to spend twice as long on the rollers as on the track, including cooling down when I do a bit of a mental debrief as well. Sounds really obvious, and might be something you're already doing, but I know if I didn't do it, I'd be working myself up into a terrible state, making silly last minute changes, and psyching myself out of performing well.
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Old 12-04-19, 12:49 PM
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I just received the book "The Chimp Paradox" as recommended here on another thread. Recommended by Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton. The author, Dr. Steve Peters, is the resident psychiatrist with the British Olympic cycling team and Team Sky (?) Pro Cycling team.
Based on a quick flip through I'm not sure this book will be of much help to me.
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Old 12-04-19, 02:01 PM
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rollers, listen to Knocked Loose, and I'll deadlift the day before.
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Old 12-09-19, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by M1T View Post
Good luck to you.
SPAMBOT? Pointless post to a 6 year old topic. Talk about thread necromancy!
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Old 12-09-19, 10:27 PM
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Dalai
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Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
SPAMBOT? Pointless post to a 6 year old topic. Talk about thread necromancy!
As Carleton mentioned back in 2013, get into a pre competition routine and use it regardless of the event.
Plenty of good sport psychology literature available, but if not the type of person that can self direct / teach find a good sport psychologist. Worth their weight in gold!
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