Monday, July 13, 2009
Not getting to race this weekend was disappointing, however being able to sit back and observe racing is always a great motivator. Watching is also a great way to see how different athletes handle pressure, obstacles and pain.
When you are in a race you should be focused on yourself. Often this focus is tested and can waver based on situations that arise and what you are telling yourself in relation to these situations. The ability to focus under pressure and ignore the negative voices that like to creep in is a trait shared by very few athletes. I think this is why we all love watching the best athletes in the world; Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky (Simon Whitfield in our triathlon world). When it is on the line and the pressure is greatest, is when these athletes are able to shut out all of the B.S.. They are the best of the best and they excel in their chosen sport by being able to focus when others can't.
Athletes often talk about being in the zone. You don't have to watch these famous athletes to witness it, you only need to go to a local road race or triathlon to see athletes of all ages and ability tap into this focus. They are the ones with a dead ahead stare. No visible emotion during the race, just a strong desire to get the absolute best out of themselves and overcome whatever obstacle gets thrown in their way. Yesterday I saw great examples of this focus and determination at the Desert Half, and many of them came from athletes wearing HPR gear. Great job team!