It s All About the Mind: The Psychology of Cycling 3/14/13. Jim Taylor, PhD

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1 It s All About the Mind: The Psychology of Cycling 3/14/13 Jim Taylor, PhD BIOGRAPHY: Jim Taylor, Ph.D., is internationally recognized for his work in the psychology of performance in sport and business. He is a partner at The Trium Group, a corporate consulting firm that specializes in strategic, organizational, and human transformation and performance. He has been the team psychologist for two of the world s top professional mountain bike teams, Subaru/Gary Fisher and Trek/VW and has worked with professional cyclists for many years. Jim also consults with cyclists and, triathletes of all ages and abilities. Jim is the author of 14 books, publishes Prime Sport Alert!, a bi monthly e newsletter, and his blog posts have been read by millions. A former internationally ranked alpine ski racer, Jim is a 2nd degree black belt in karate, a sub 3 hour marathoner, an Ironman triathlete, and avid road rider and mountain biker. To learn more, visit BIBLIOGRAPHY: Taylor, J., & Taylor, S. (1997). Psychological approaches to sports injury rehabilitation. Gaithersburg, MD: LLW Publishing. Taylor, J., Stone, K., Mullin, M., Ellenbecker, T., & Walgenbach, A. (2003) Comprehensive Sports Injury Management: From initial exam to return to sport. Austin, TX: Pro Ed. Taylor, J. (2001). Prime sport: Triumph of the athlete mind. New York: iuniverse. Taylor, J., & Schneider, T. (2005). The triathlete s guide to mental training. Boulder, CO: VeloPress. Taylor, J., & Wilson, G. (eds.) (2005). Applying sport psychology: Four perspectives. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. Taylor, J. Prime Sport Alert! e newsletter: sport alerts/ Taylor, J. & Kress, J. (2006). Psychology of cycling. In J. Dosil (Ed.), The sport psychologist s handbook: A guide to sport specific performance enhancement. New York: Wiley. chapters/#cycling

2 Training: Preparing to Race Larry Nolan Larry Nolan is a 5 th generation California and lives in Fremont. He and his wife Debbie have been married 31 years. Together they have three (adult) children. Larry ran in high school, at Saint Mary s College, and in the running boom. Then he took up triathlons. In 1988 he won his first world championship at the ITU Vancouver, Canada event. In 1990 he was clobbered by a triple trailer truck while riding around Lake Tahoe. With running out of the picture he focused on cycling. With his athletic background, he was not comfortable in a pack of cyclists so he started to breakdown the skills required for winning bicycle races. In 1992 Larry started helping new racers at the local 5 week Early Bird Training Race Series. Twenty two years later the series has grown to help about 250 brand new racers each year. Larry leads 50 or more coaches and mentors through the weekly curriculum with the intent to provide a great first race experience (and to keep racers in the sport) Larry still loves to race. He s won 14 UCI Masters World Track Championships; 42 USA Masters Road and Track National Championships; and holds two USA National and one UCI World Record. He races for Team Specialized Masters. After thirty years in various finance professions (GE, Apple, Adaptec, Duarte, RoseRyan) Larry is the Director of the Team Specialized Juniors squad; the USA Cycling West Coast Camp Manager; USA Cycling Certified Skills Instructor, and San Jose Velodrome promoter. In 2010 Team Specialized earned the (small teams) Club of the Year. In 2011 Larry earned the United States Olympic Committee Development Coach of the Year. He is a level two USA Cycling Coach. Larry hopes his talk inspires all riders that attend, including those that are thinking of racing, those that already race and even those that never intend to race.

3 3/11/2013 Let s start with some essential questions It s All About the Mind The Psychology of Cycling How important is the mental side of cycling compared to the physical, technical, etc.? Jim Taylor, Ph.D. The Trium Group Should Peak Performance be your goal? 2 Your goal is Prime Cycling Riding at a consistently high level under the most challenging conditions Can Prime Cycling be Learned? PRIME CYCLING is about developing skills 3 4 What race are you competing in? Competitive race Race against course What are you preparing for? PRIME TIME Most difficult course Most challenging conditions Toughest competitors Biggest race of your life Mental race! 5 6 1

4 3/11/2013 Prime Cycling Framework Motivation: The determination and drive to achieve your goals 7 PRIME CYCLING Pain Emotions Focus Stress Confidence Motivation 8WHY IT S TAKE ACTION! IMPORTANT Motivation is EVERYTHING! Effort and goals The Grind Focus on long-term goals Have a training partner Identify greatest competitor Use motivational cues: words, photos Compete for the right reasons Ride your bike, ride your bike, ride your bike. --Fausto Coppi Confidence: How strongly you believe in your ability to achieve your goals Intensity: Amount of physiological activity you feel before and during races 9WHY IT S TAKE ACTION! IMPORTANT Most important mental factor Confidence is a skill Confidence challenge Preparation Mental toolbox Build a strong team Self-talk I'm not going to say it, but if you [journalists] want to call me the best sprinter in the world, that's fine by me." --Robbie McEwen WHY IT S IMPORTANT TAKE ACTION! 10 We are physical beings Range of intensity Goal: monitor and adjust intensity Pre-race routine Breathing Shake out arms periodically Change position Smile! All of us do well when things are going well, but the thing that distinguishes great cyclists is the ability to do well in times of great stress, urgency and pressure. -- Paul Sherwin Focus: concentrate on things that help and avoid distractions that hurt performance Emotions: Intense states that arise in response to situations that influence thoughts and behavior WHY IT S IMPORTANT Quality training Efficiency Consistent race performance WHY IT S IMPORTANT Common emotions in cycling Emotions impact psychology and physiology Emotional reactions to race situations (e.g., flat, cramps) Whoever loses emotional control first loses TAKE ACTION! Mental imagery Keywords 3 Ps TAKE ACTION! Know your emotional style: rager, seether, brooder, Zen master Recognize hot button situations 4 Keys to emotional mastery Emotions and nutrition What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding yourself to do exactly what you want do. -- Marc Cavendish If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster/And treat those two impostors just the same Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it! -- Rudyard Kipling

5 3/11/2013 Pain: Sensory and emotional experience of discomfort, distress, or agony The Payoff WHY IT S IMPORTANT Instinctive mechanism to protect against threat to life Two parts of pain: physical, psychological Pain in perspective Interpretation of pain: normal, means you re working hard PRIME CYCLING Pain Victory! Emotions TAKE ACTION! Relax: deep breathing, loose muscles Pain as information Generate positive emotions Focus Stress 13 At cycling's core lies pain...it doesn't matter if you're sprinting for an Olympic medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you're missing the essence of the sport. -- Scott Martin. 14 Confidence Motivation Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter: Prime Sport Alert Thank You The Trium Group 909 Montgomery Street, Floor 6 San Francisco, California

6 Training: Preparing to Race Larry Nolan 1 2 C O N F I D E N T I A L Preparing to Race o Perspective o Protect your front wheel o Position (ala Drafting) o Preparation o Practice o Patience Larry Nolan 14 3 March 2013 Perspective : Larry Nolan 4 C O N F I D E N T I A L California: 37,253,956 residents We Love to Ride our Bicycles! Adventurous and outdoors Physical Exercise Simplicity (Relatively) inexpensive Science & Math Environmental friendly Time efficient Social - on and off the bike Coaching/ Mentoring Split second decisions In-the-moment Focus Planning and Preparation Perseverance Patience Consistency is rewarded Travel We love to have Fun! 5 Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 1

7 "to be one, to be united is a great thing, but to respect the right to be different is even greater 18% of all USA Cycling Racing Licensees live in California Source USACycling.org 37,287 road, track, mountain 2012 licensees, excludes BMX, and non-usa Cycling States/ Orgs U2- One (live) Mysterious Ways 7 8 Source NCNCA.org ~4500 road, track, mountain 2012 licensees We Love to RACE our Bicycles! Simple Inexpensive Science & Math Environmental friendly Time efficient Social - on and off the bike Adventurous and outdoors Travel Coaching/ Mentoring Split second decisions In-the-moment Focus Planning and Preparation Perseverance Patience Consistency is rewarded Physical Fitness We love to have Fun! Goal oriented Strategic and Tactical Competition Teamwork! (?) Are you ready to start racing? USA Cycling : International Olympic Committee National Governing Body Category 5 1 st time licensee, < 10 races Category races of experience Category 3 high placing in Category 4 races Category 2 high placing in Category 3 races Category 1 high placing in Category 2 races Professional Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 2

8 Protect your front wheel Aggressive Assertive Passive If you re not moving forward, you re moving backward Protect your front wheel Aggressive Assertive Passive If you re not moving forward, you re moving backward Larry Nolan March 2013 Larry Nolan 14 March 2013 Drafting Generally : 10 to 30% energy savings when in the slipstream of another rider Specifically* : 33 to 60% energy savings when in the slipstream of another rider Preparation For Racing Point #1 It s FAST out there! * Source: October 2011 Road Magazine Power article by Hunter Allen, in regards to Juan Antonio Flecha in the breakaway at the 2011 Tour de France. 400 to 500 watts at the front, sitting in the group and not pulling. Larry Nolan March 2013 Larry Nolan March 2013 January 6, 2013 Early Bird Training Series Elite 4 s averaged 3 min, 15 secs per lap, or 25.0mph Elite 1/2/3 s averaged 3 min, 5 secs per lap, or 27.0mph Preparation For Racing Point #2 There are courses for horses 1 CONFIDENTIAL Larry Nolan March 2013 Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 3

9 Climbers Rouleurs Sprinters Attacking Preparation For Racing Point #3 Target and prepare for your key events Source: Cyclesport 1 Seven Scientific Principles of Training 1- Stress the body responses to stress that is regular and reasonable 2- Overload stress must be adequate to create a need for the body to adapt 3- Specificity you get what you train for 4- Regularity the more regular the training, the more rapid the improvement 5- Progression occurs gradually and in jumps Preparing to Race Specificity 6- Reversibility the closer you get to your potential, the smarter you need to train for small gains 7- Recovery improvements come when we recover (think - rest, nutrition and hydration) Larry Nolan March C O N F I D E N T I A L Practice How fit are you? Source: Hunter Allen, Training Peaks 23 Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 4

10 A 5 year old has been walking and running for about 4 years. They practice walking and running every day of their life and, they still fall down. Why do cyclists think that they can ride without falling if they never work on their cycling skills?" - Aubrey Nolan, Triathlon Coach General Conditioning and Fitness Focus on overall development Focus on fun rather than high intensity workouts Focus on aerobic conditioning Participate in other sports to aid in conditioning, especially during off season Understands the importance of good flexibility Demonstrate proper stretching technique Stretch at each workout session Learn to ride at a steady pace Demonstrates and practices proper weight lifting technique Begin weight training with low resistance or body weight* Develop leg speed with small gears Total training volume 8 10 hours or less Club rides of 2 hours or less Larry Nolan March 2013 One of fourteen Training Knowledge Understands that a training plan is systematic (periodized) Understands the basic principles of periodization Understands intensity and recovery Understand the difference between hard and easy days Understands the importance of rest Begins to understand the relationship between training programs and maturation and development Understands the importance of a proper warm up Develops a warm up plan for training and competition Understands general relationship between HR and intensity Understands USA Cycling heart rate training zones Adjusts intensity as needed Knows basic strength training terminology Understands the basic components of a training session Warm up and stretching Review of previously learned skills Learning new skills and Practicing new skills Two of fourteen Cool down and stretching Larry Nolan March 2013 Psychology (1 of 2) Develops basic patterns for success in sports and life Has fun Creates a positive athletic lifestyle Develops social skills through cycling Balances school and co-curricular activities Understands the difference in tense and relaxed muscles Performs basic visualization skills Expresses individual personality Focuses on being an individual and avoid comparisons with others Builds honesty, trust and integrity in dealing with others Understands that mistakes are a part of sports Focuses on things within the athlete s control such as giving a 100% effort Keeps competition in proper perspective Accepts defeat and learns from it Describes relationship between nervousness and performance Understands the relationship between relaxation and performance Begins developing positive mental attitude Three of fourteen Larry Nolan March 2013 Psychology (2 of 2) Understands difference between positive self-talk and attempts to keep self-talk positive Is not affected by the misbehavior of others Develops a pre-race routine of positive habits Develops sound training habits for sound race preparation Develops one or two specific cues to help concentration and focus Controls arousal level to focus on task Successfully participates in group relaxation exercises Describes age appropriate perceptions and feelings Forms visual images to practice suggested outcomes Exhibits a sense of group belonging Actively attempts to improve and learn Uses imagery with coach in skill acquisition and performance preview/review Knows when to use imagery Can repeat instructions and translate them into correct actions Focuses on task at hand Contributes appropriately to team meetings or coach meetings Performs progressive relaxation exercises Four of fourteen Larry Nolan March 2013 Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 5

11 Goal Setting Understands Goal Setting Understands the concept of a dream goal Develops measurable and specific goals with a time frame Develops short-term, intermediate and long term goals Short term goals 1-3 months Intermediate goals 4-6 months Long term goals 1 year Understands that outcome is not always the best measure of a goal Develops some goals that are outcome goals such as rankings or titles Reviews goals with coach on a frequent basis Develop goals based on identified weaknesses States 3 desires of participation in cycling, accomplishments or outcomes Can differentiate between process (performance) and outcome Larry Nolan March 2013 Five of fourteen Health and Safety (1 of 2) Develop healthy and safe lifestyle Always wears a helmet in training and racing Avoids use of non-prescription and banned drugs Knows in general which drugs are banned Understands harmful effects of banned substances Practices preventative medicine such as wearing sunscreen or taking medications Understands the difference between soreness pain and injury pain Has adequate range of motion (ROM) for all joints Can recognize potentially dangerous situations Understands the concept of Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (RICE) Undergoes regular health and dental check ups Maintains file of health records Communicates honestly about possible injuries with parents, coaches and medical personnel Recognizes the importance of medical clearance before returning to training following an injury or illness Follows medical instructions for illness or injury Six of fourteen Larry Nolan March 2013 Health and Safety (2 of 2) Demonstrates proper safety signals when riding in traffic Obeys all traffic laws Understands clothing selection for weather conditions and the impact of proper clothing Recognizes that food is the energy source for the body Eats an athlete friendly diet (high carbohydrate, moderate protein and low fat) Understands that poor diet can adversely affect performance Knows difference between healthful and unhealthful foods Makes wise decisions about pre, during and post race training foods Understands the importance of proper hydration during training, competition and rest Demonstrates the ability to remain properly hydrated Monitoring Training Develops methods to monitor training Keeps a training diary Understands the importance of a training log Understands the use of heart rate monitors or other technology Keeps medical records to assist in monitoring of training and health Seven of fourteen Larry Nolan March 2013 Eight of fourteen Larry Nolan March 2013 Competition Knows and abides by rules Is familiar with the patterns and general strategy of the event Develops proper warm up pattern for the event Competes in age appropriate races Competes in quantity of events for age and development Participates in competitions for the purpose of skill development Participates in all events (track, off road, road, etc.) offered for age group Understands basic format for each event entered Understands basic tactics for each event entered Trains using race situations Can describe the course after training rides or races Larry Nolan March 2013 Nine of fourteen Conduct Is punctual for all training sessions and competitions Has the necessary equipment for the training session or competition All equipment is in proper working order Understands being part of a team and how his/her actions and behaviors can affect others Listens to recommendations from coach and makes appropriate changes Understands team rules and abides by them Attentive during teaching from coach Stops misbehavior when asked Demonstrates good sportsmanship Confronts teammates for misbehavior Takes increasing responsibility for attendance, preparation and performance Develops on going communication with coach Demonstrates good time management skills Demonstrates good personal organization Respects opponents, coaches, officials and teammates Contributes to group activities in a positive manner Participates in a variety of social, educational and athletic activities Cooperates with others Ten of fourteen Larry Nolan March 2013 Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 6

12 Media Skills Recognizes the importance of developing positive relationship with the media Thinks about how the statements will be received before speaking Speaks positively of competitors during interviews Displays sponsor logos prominently Mentions sponsors whenever appropriate Writes thank you notes to sponsors Cleans up and puts on fresh jersey or jacket (with sponsor logos) before media or podium presentation Able to make eye contact with interviewer or crowd Interacts positively with sponsors, media and fans Recognizes effects of poor communication Larry Nolan March 2013 Eleven of fourteen General Technical Skills (1 of 2) Focuses on skill development and relaxation Develops basic skills needed for cycling Correct bike fit and position Basics of the pedal stroke and proper pedaling mechanics Demonstrates proper mounting and dismounting of bike Demonstrates balancing on bike Demonstrates proper out of saddle riding technique Knowledgeable of gears and gear selection based on event, course, etc Develops gear shifting skills Demonstrates ability to ride safely in an aerodynamic position Demonstrates ability to ride in a peloton or group Demonstrates riding a straight line Demonstrates proper cornering techniques Demonstrates balance when looking over either shoulder or behind them Practices proper falling technique through training on mats or grassy surface to reduce injury risk Twelve of fourteen Larry Nolan March 2013 General Technical Skills (2 of 2) Demonstrates ability to use front and rear brakes properly Understands the effects of using the front or rear brakes (or both) Demonstrates emergency braking methods Participates in touching drills with a partner Participates in bumping drills with a partner Participates in small group pace lines and echelons Performs a pace line ride with at least 5 riders Participates in 2x2 riding Demonstrates ability to ride with no hands in a controlled manner Demonstrates proper mass start clip in technique Demonstrates proper standing start Demonstrates safe drafting technique Demonstrates drinking from water bottle and hydration system while riding Demonstrates eating while riding Demonstrates basic cleaning and bike repairs Demonstrates getting a wheel change from neutral support Larry Nolan March 2013 Thirteen of fourteen Discipline specific competencies- Road Tactics Understands basic team concepts and tactics Understands how to assist teammates Understands how to utilize teammates Maintains contact with peloton Stays close to front of peloton Larry Nolan March 2013 Fourteen of fourteen 14 Garrett Lau January 9, 2005, two of six Larry Nolan 414 March 2013 Garrett Lau January 9, 2005, one of six Larry Nolan 42 March 2013 Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 7

13 Presentation Titles Goes Here Garrett Lau January 9, 2005, three of six Larry Nolan March 2013 Larry Nolan March 2013 Garrett Lau January 9, 2005, five of six Larry Nolan March 2013 Garrett Lau January 9, 2005, four of six Larry Nolan March 2013 Garrett Lau January 9, 2005, six of six Patience Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc CONFIDENTIAL 8

14 Marcus Smith 14 Charlie Avis 17 It all starts with realistic goals! SMART Goals Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timebound 49 Realistic Objectives 1- Set Training Hours 2- Season Goals* 3- Sanity Check 4- Training Objectives* 5- Prioritize Races* 6- Periodization* 7- Weekly hours* * Joe Friel Cyclists Training Bible Others, Larry Nolan Long Term Athlete Development - summary comparing yourself to others! Develop S.M.A.R.T. long-term goals Practice Patience Larry Nolan March 2013 Tonight s summary Preparing to Race Perspective - we re not saving lives here! Protect your front wheel you own it! Position (ala Drafting) thinking all of the time Preparation you have to be fast to play the game Practice got skills? Which ones will you practice today? Patience where s the fire? Have fun (and be safe) out there! Questions and Answers Questions and Answers? Copyright 2004 Duarte Design, Inc. 9

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