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Monday 18th & Tuesday 19th February: The tracks closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

 
 

The 5 Predictors of Excellence

- and appearing ordinary...

maddix park mx

www.racerxonline.com by Editor

Most athletes in the motocross world have probably never heard of Joe Friel. For those of you who have not, I can tell you that he is a big BIG deal in the endurance world. He is one of the most well respected and studied coaches of all time. When Joe speaks, people listen. Much of the principles and methods presented on this site are based on Joe's books and articles. Coach Seiji (currently training Andrew Short, Jason Anderson, and Jimmy Albertson) is a life long student of Joe's work and is the first trainer in motocross to take what Joe does for the endurance athlete and apply it to motocross. The programs Coach Seiji has written for the premium training plans offered on Virtual Trainer are based on these same principles. The following article is a great example of how Joe's writings transend the endurance world and can be applied not only to the motocross athlete but life in general. - Virtual Trainer


This article is reprinted from www.joefrielsblog.com
By Joe Friel

Excellence is not for everyone. It’s far too difficult for the great majority of those who participate in sport. In fact, those who seek excellence are often ridiculed because they are different from their peers. And so it isn’t easy to seek excellence either. Humans are social animals; we don’t like being outcasts. It’s much easier to go along with the crowd than to stand out in a crowd. But there are athletes who pull it off, and with great aplomb. Have you ever noticed how young, pro athletes often try to give the impression that nothing about their training or dedication to the sport is unusual? They’ve learned to give the appearance of being “just like everyone else,” even though their performance in competition tells us otherwise. Going out of their way to be laid-back is how they cope with the dilemma and help prevent others from branding them as strange. And that’s a good strategy which I would recommend to anyone who truly seeks excellence: Try not to give the air of someone who is seeking excellence. Appear ordinary in every way you can.

What brought all of this up was a question someone asked me over dinner tonight. We were at a surprise party for an athlete I coach who had just won his age category at his state’s time trial championship. It was clear to my dinner-table neighbor that this state champ had altered his course in the past year and was becoming excellent at cycling. So my new friend wanted to know what I looked for in a person who wanted to hire me as a coach. How would I know if a person could be successful? I started to tell him all of what follows but we were interrupted by party goings-on. Here’s the long list of what I think are the best predictors of excellence in sport, in their order of importance, in case he gets a chance to read this post.

Notice that I didn’t say anything about innate talent, physiology, skills, or even experience in the sport. All of these things can be developed and learned if the other predictors are there. I’ve never met anyone who didn’t have the capacity to develop each of these mental abilities. As mentioned earlier, the challenge for most of us in seeking excellence is learning how to do it without appearing to be doing so. Watch how most of the pros do it and try to emulate their apparently laissez-faire attitude. Good examples are Chrissie Wellington in triathlon and David Zabriskie in road cycling (think Ryan Villopotto in motocross). In their own unique ways they give the impression of being unconcerned about excellence. But no one achieves their levels of accomplishment without being highly motivated, disciplined, focused and patient.

About the Author: Joe Friel has trained endurance athletes since 1980. His clients are elite amateur and professional road cyclists, mountain bikers, triathletes, and duathletes. They come from all corners of the globe and include American and foreign national champions, world championship competitors, and an Olympian.

He is the author of ten books on training for endurance athletes including the popular and best-selling Training Bible book series. He holds a masters degree in exercise science, is a USA Triathlon and USA Cycling certified Elite-level coach, and is a founder and past Chairman of the USA Triathlon National Coaching Commission.

Joe conducts seminars around the world on training and racing for cyclists, multi-sport athletes, and coaches, and provides consulting services for corporations in the fitness industry. He has also been active in business as a founder of Training Peaks (www.trainingpeaks.com), a web-based software company, and TrainingBible Coaching (www.trainingbible.com).

Joe lives and trains in the McDowell Mountains in Scottsdale, Arizona, overlooking the Valley of the Sun.

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. 

  

 
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