Have you ever known an athlete afflicted by everything from bee stings to forgotten equipment, bike crashes, blisters and missed wave starts? Bad luck seems to follow them. If something can go wrong, it does for them.
The opposite is the athlete who races and trains like an accountant. Everything is tabulated, check listed, prepared and re-checked. For them preparation and racing is a well-charted movement from point A to point B. Organized athletes experience a lower level of anxiety and spend less mental energy worrying.
One of the greatest performance coaches ever, author Steven Covey of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People coined the phrase “sphere of influence.” Covey was teaching the ability to separate the things we can control from the things we cannot. He emphasized the importance of focusing on things within our sphere of influence, the things we can exert control over. For the athlete that means meticulous attention to details of hydration, nutrition and equipment. It means knowing the exact route a race course takes before you ever arrive at the venue. It means occupying yourself with every detail you can control and ignoring the ones you cannot. (more…)