Many of us are looking towards a new year, with the hope of a return to more normal travel, training facilities and racing opportunities. 2020 was a year where the race calendar was on and off again, training facilities were denied and many questioned ‘why?’ they were training without the goal of events in front of them.
However for some, their race is not an annual event. The Olympic Games is a 4 year cycle for athletes from 200+ countries. Not only has their event timeline changed, but the whole qualification and selection process. The last ITU race with Olympic qualifying points was in Mooloolaba Australia in March 2020 (and then those points were removed).
These athletes, like us, have all been challenged. However when one has a strong enough goal, you don’t need hope. You only need belief, and a ‘big enough why?’
While others may have been sitting back waiting to see what happens, we do not rely on hope. Champions are not born better than any of us in this area, however they learn to ‘adapt and overcome’. That there are no perfect facilities, only good attitudes or bad attitudes.
Over the years, I’ve had many athletes come to me, wanting to be champions. Just a few were willing to do what it takes. For some, it was just about the training programs. These athletes, or journeymen, as I call them, never understood that the workouts and sessions are simply the cherry on top of the cake. Training the body is pretty simple. It’s what most coaches do. I have had my best success, by coaching the athletes’ mind.
I help athletes get results by one simple statement and that is to forget race dates. Forget points. Forget short-term letdowns. Plan your year with one thing - individual performance, and look for excellence within yourself, not just in your chosen sport but in life's endeavours.
It has always been my belief that the pursuit of long-term performance will overcome any obstacle. This is an individual sport and as such the individual performance in the end will determine our success.
As we look towards the new year, and all it will bring, let's remember that the event calendar can only impede what is best practice. If we get good enough we qualify no matter what convoluted plan is thrown up. Plan your season not on what gets you to qualify for Hawaii, World Championships or Olympics; but on what will make you a better athlete than yesterday.
We will be ready!