Mind Matters: Psychological Skills For Cycling

Use Of Imagery

At first this may seem like a very subjective and soft psychological skill to practice, however it is very powerful. Just as a football player will review game film studying their own actions and the actions of opponents, a cyclist with video footage of their performance has a valuable training tool at their fingertips.

What’s especially helpful is the ability to pair this footage, say from a Garmin camera, with variables such as power, cadence, heart rate, etc. data that can help identify very important areas of improvement or things that an athlete does well.

Aside from using imagery with technology, It can also be highly beneficial to introduce the concept of imagining you are racing while you are performing training intervals that are specific to your A- race at the end of the year. Using this strategy, an athlete might imagine they are in a race, in that moment that counts the most. Having practiced this moment in training, will lead to familiarization, that in turn should lead to a higher degree of confidence when in the actual moment in the race.

Physiologically, the mind will say “this is hard but I can do this!” Given the appropriate use of imagery training, the body will have a greater chance of following the minds lead: Sit-in here, respond again, respond again, attack, SPRINT!

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