Hvad er mindsettet hos en topatlet
On har begået et par artikler, som tager udgangspunkt i en håndfuld top atleter, og deres tilgang til det at træne, sætte sig mål og nå dem. Med små justeringer, er det de samme ting, som går igen hos de fleste atleter.
On har i artiklen sammenfattet 6 gode råd. 6 råd som hjælper til at nå de mål som atleterne har sat sig. Der er tale om 6 gode men også almene råd, som hverdagsmotionisten også kan forfølge med enkle tilpasninger og justeringer.
Vi har her sammenfattet artiklens pointer og gengiver her de 6 råd.
- Sæt klare mål og av en plan, så du ikke er i tvivl om, hvad du skal træne den pågældende dag, uge eller måned.
- Bryd den store målsætning ned i mindre (del)målsætninger
- Accepter at du ikke altid når alle dine mål, eller du ikke når det største mål. Vær altid parat med en Plan B eller en Plan C.
- Husk dig selv på, hvad der fra start fik dig til at sætte netop dette mål. Du skal kunne genfinde passionen og glæden, som ligger bag din plan og målsætning.
- Hold fast I de store perspektiver I livet – Der er noget som er større end den daglige træning.
- Omgiv dig selv med et godt Team – her handler det ikke kun om, hvem du træner med. Det skal forståes relativt bredt. Husk der er også et liv udenfor træningen.
Du kan læse den fulde artikel nedenfor
We know that mental strength is an important part of the performance mix. But we wanted to break it down into its component parts so we can build ourselves up stronger. Who better to ask for advice than the On ZAP Endurance team?
As elite marathoners they know not only what is required to be at the top of their game in arguably the most mentally demanding event in athletics. And they didn’t hold back on telling us about it.
In a three-part series we uncover three core components of the elite athlete mindset, including resilience and the competitive spirit. But it all starts with setting a target.
What is the Athlete Mindset?
Being so mindful of their mental performance, we wanted to know exactly what the On ZAP Endurance athletes are striving for. What is the mental performance endgame? Actually, what even is the athlete mindset?
“I would describe the athlete mindset as being driven, relaxed, and flexible at the same time,” said Nicole DiMercurio, who finished 6th at the 2018 Boston Marathon.
Being driven is important because as there is always a goal to work towards. Remaining relaxed is equally as important because life is unpredictable and sometimes reaching a goal simply doesn’t happen. Being flexible helps to redirect focus and energy into setting goals that can be achieved (even when the ultimate goal can’t be met).
Focusing on clear goals is something that comes up a lot when the team talks mindset. In fact, they form the foundation for the performance mentality. For Tyler Pennel, a former US National Marathon Champion, goals are what make the mindset, win or lose.
“I would describe the “athlete mindset” as someone who has concrete goals in mind and is willing to do everything they can to reach those goals,” Tyler said.
“They are willing to put in the extra effort, whether it is coming in early to shoot 100s of free throws or taking a day off so that your body can recover.
“Someone with an “athlete mindset” doesn’t always reach their goals, as there are so many factors that influence an outcome, but they accept the outcome because everything that was within their power was done to the fullest extent.”
Go Step by Step
Several of the guys admit that getting out the door on the tough days is often what makes the difference between good results and great ones. But setting clear goals is key there too. The advice is not just to have one big goal, which can seem daunting when motivation is low, but smaller milestone markers to aim for that always seem achievable.
According to 2:13 marathoner Joe Stilin, “Setting small goals gives you a nice feedback effect on your journey toward big goals. You get a confidence boost from hitting weekly or even daily goals, which keeps training interesting. In a long-term endeavor like a marathon career, keeping things dynamic and breaking up the task into smaller pieces is essential.”
That’s exactly how the newest member of On ZAP Endurance, Tristin Van Ord, sets her goals too.
“I set my goals in layers,” Tristin explains. “It’s one thing to say you have a goal of going to the Olympics, but it’s all the little goals along the way that help you get there. If I don’t have the goal of waking up with intention and passion every day, then how the hell am I supposed to compete at the highest level? Setting small goals along the way helps keep me in check.”
On ZAP Endurance Coach Pete Rea is constantly working with the team to monitor their goals. Coach Rea even goes a step further when it comes to breaking down goals into component parts, also recommending having graded goals with a healthy dose of acceptance that sometimes, top performance just isn’t feasible. And that’s ok as long as you’re making the effort to show up.
“I believe in setting goals in tiers such as A, B, C.” Coach Rea revealed. “If you have a great flawless day then A is possible. Your B goal might be a good day and a C performance is one you can live with but perhaps not your greatest day.”
Coach is also a big believer in the classic management science mantra that goals should be measurable. For the athletes, target splits and race results make that easy, but he also makes sure his targets are tangible too.
“I set goals for myself that are both process and outcome. For example I’ll tell myself to make sure I personally speak to 7 athletes today to reaffirm where we are and what is to come. That is a process goal and one I have control over. For an outcome goal I have a goal of having 2 of our On ZAP athletes in the top 10 at the Olympic Trials.”
And Coach Rea’s recommendation for keeping focused on your goals? “By reaffirming them. Repetition is the best rhetorical coaching device.”
Within their recommendations, Coach Rea and the athletes often also allude to the athlete mindset also requiring a level of acceptance. That goals might not be reached. That dedication should not reach a point of unhealthy obsession. And that rings true no matter how big your goals are. Just ask Andrew Colley:
“My goals for 2020 are to win the U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials, stay healthy, continue my pursuit for the flowstate, and be in the best shape of my life thus far for the Olympic Games and mix it up with the big dogs from around the world.”
See, no-one would accuse Andrew of a lack of clear goals or ambition. So how will he make sure he’s mentally strong enough to put the right preparation in place and deliver when it counts?
“I tend to think of myself as a mental animal, so I’m going to try and embrace that side of myself and take down some of the big dogs.” Andrew says. I am going to take each day as it comes and make sure to stay present in what I’m doing.
“You know, I love running and getting to go out on a run with my friends and workout hard is a blast. As long as I remember that, I think the goals will take care of themselves.”
Andrew also alludes to the importance of a surrounding yourselves with the right people. Those who will hold you accountable to the goals you’ve set but play a supportive role on your journey to get there. This is at the core of the On ZAP Team philosophy. After all, that’s why these come together to train in the North Carolina woods.
“I’ve been fortunate to have a giant running family that has accumulated over the years as my support team as I pursue these goals.” Andrew said.
“I remind myself frequently how much those people believe in me and that I need to do right by my family as well.”
Your 6 Key Takeaways: The Marathon Mindset #1 Focus
1. Set clear goals
Goals are the foundation of the athlete mindset. Having clear goals ensures you are focusing your time on what matters. Having a clear training plan, for example, avoids wasting mental energy deliberating about next steps and if you’ve done enough. It is the discipline of sticking to those goals that defines the athlete mindset.
2. Break big goals down into sub-goals
Help yourself achieve you big goals by breaking them down into smaller, more immediately reachable targets. This keeps motivation high at times when fatigue or even bad weather become barriers that make the larger goals seem out of reach.
3. Add tiers to your goals
Accepting that goals are not always reached is an important part of the athlete mindset and maintaining a healthy approach to training. Coach Rea’s strategy of classing goals as A, B, and C is helpful, and rewards the fact that you turned up and put in the work, which is where the battle is really won.
In practice, this could be setting out for a 10K tempo run and saying, ok, I don’t feel so up for it, but I aim for a 40 minute 10K today, if I hit sub 45 that’s still a B in the books and anything above that is a C. At the end, you still have 10K on the log, when you could easily have said, I won’t hit that today, there’s no point showing up.
4. Remember why you started the journey.
This is a key tenet of Coach Rea’s philosophy: “Train each day with the same childlike joy you had when you started the sport – we preach relentlessly the important of passion, joy and fortuitousness in training.”
5. Keep Perspective
Focusing on the bigger picture, what truly matters, can be a big help when you don’t meet your goals. Your health, your family, your friends, there are many things more important that a new P.R. Start a journal and remind yourself every day of the progress you’ve made and things you’re thankful for. This can help alleviate pressures that could negatively affect performance.
6. Find your team
Surrounding yourself with others on the same journey keeps you accountable, can add healthy competition and get you out the door on the times when a Netflix marathon seems much more appealing than training for the real thing. And having the right people around, whether runners or not, will always be a big help when it comes to staying motivated and receiving the support you need when things go off plan, or setbacks happen. Which they invariably will. And that’s ok, as we see in our next article about perseverance.