By Jim on Tuesday, November 23, 2010
For some racing is what they least enjoy, they get so upset with the race and their performance, that it often leads to them not enjoying their paddling at all.
At the weekend I experienced it first hand, an athlete who had been training so well didn't perform in the race they had been preparing for. The thing with the sport of paddling is that it is very hard, tough and unrewarding until you deliver the race you have been dreaming of.
The thing with training is that people get into a situation where they are comfortable with where they are at and as a result they never put pressure on themselves to go harder. The big day comes and they get lost. When to warm up, when to check their equipment, what have they eaten and drunk??? Next thing exhaustion sets in and bang another bad race.
To be the best you can be is hard work, to win a race is hard work , to do your PB is even harder. If it was easy then everyone would do it.
When you do your best it feels easier and is much more enjoyable. You can easily turn a bad race into a good race with a few simple changes to what you doing.
Here are my tips to helping you race better next time.
In no specific order, my recommendation of things to work on :
· Put pressure on yourself at training in some of your efforts, line up and tell yourself that this is the Olympic or World final. By doing this you put yourself under pressure, so you get to practice big time racing.
· If in a group, race each other with some pride on the result of the session. Winner gets someone to carry his/hers boat up and wash it down. Never make the prize anything other than some fun, otherwise it takes the enjoyment out of the squad type training.
· When I paddled, I did a lot of training alone, I would paddle the last 1km of my training commentating to myself as if I was in for a gold medal at the Olympics. I won everytime. Then when the big race had come around I had already been in it and WON, so no need for panic. It's the fear of failure that scares most people, if your never have a go then you will never know.
· The next and most important thing is to always check your equipment. Not 30mins before the start, as soon as you arrive at your race, which should always be up to an hour before.
· Warm up strong and hard is my advice, those of you who are a bit older and I'm talking about people 38yrs and above you need more warm up. The common thing older people will always tell you is that they felt so much better in the second part of the race. This is because they have just got their body's warmed up.
· Know where you are going. The statement I hate most is, I just followed that bloke he had a fast looking ski so I thought he knows where to go, then 30mins into I realized we were off course. I won't do that again.
· Hydrate the day before and small amounts on race day.
· The thing that is so important with racing is to have a good attitude. Never turn up to racing with self doubt, be confident, back your training program and enjoy it.
Your family and friends will still like if you come first or last.
You do sport for enjoyment so enjoy it and do your best.
I loved it so much so I hope you love it to.
The reason I know all of the above is true, is because on the weekend I saw my friend change the things above and go from a sad paddler to a very happy fast paddler.
He got what he deserved because he had done the hard work.
Get out there and be the best you can be.
This is what Jimsquad uses to put pressure on themselves, we all want to WIN this race.