How Do I Stay Confident After A Poor Moto?
I just got home from a race yesterday and I am troubled I rode really good in practice. I was one of the fastest ones on the track. I felt great, but by the time it came for
Dr. Cohn's Answer: When you ride well in practice and then do not perform up to your ability in races, this just tells me that you are having trouble with taking your practice game to races because of a lack of confidence, doubt, or putting too much pressure on yourself to perform well. I see this all the time in my work. Based on your question above, it sounds like you lack full confidence in your ability in races as you start to doubts yourself. In addition, I can tell that your confidence gets damaged after a poor performance, which makes you doubt to the point of not being able to see a good start or moto in your mind. My suggestion is that you learn how to be proactive with your confidence. This means taking responsibility for how confident you feel in races instead of leaving it to chance. You have to get off the confidence roller coaster and on the steady confidence train. You can do this by using your past success and experience in motocross. A good product to help you with this is my new program, The Confident Athlete.
How to I Stay Focused and Memorize the Track?
I currently race personal watercraft. I have been racing for 15 years now and I currently race two classes Expert Stand Up and Pro-am sport. My current issues are staying focused on the track and memorizing the track before my race. It seems that I have lost my aggressive drive off the start. How do I need to get back in the right frame of mind?
Dr. Cohn's Answer:
Staying focused on the track and memorizing the track might be two different issue altogether, but at the same time, not being comfortable with the track could cause you to lose focus. So they might be related to each other. I think you are not being aggressive off the start because you are unsure of the track and your lines. You must get committed to a plan - a race plan - and your lines before you get on the start line. One way you can do this is to mentally rehearse the track in your mind, what I call doing your mental laps and see the lines you need to take on the track. Second, I want you to identify 2-3 cues you must focus on to have a good race. When you get off focus, you must be able to pull your mind back to the present task at hand or the cues you decided to focus on. For example, maybe you decide to focus on driving harder into the corners and being smooth through the apex. Then you job is to stay focused on these cues to the best of your ability.
How to I Concentrate in the Present Moment?
Dr. Cohn’s Answer:
I look at focus and confidence as two different issues. However, it seem like you fragile confidence is causing you to dwell too much on past problems or mistakes. Yes, confidence does come from past success for many athletes, but in your case, doubt is coming from past errors or poor motos.
I talk a lot with my students about getting off the “confidence roller coaster.” Confidence is something that develops over years and years of training and racing. For example, if you have been racing for 6 years, how long do you think you have been working on your confidence? 6 years! Do not forget this simple idea. Next time you have a setback, you need to take a long-term approach to your confidence and remember all the successful motos you have raced. Do not let on moto or mistakes cause you to flush 6 years of training confidence down the toilet!
How to I Race Without a Comfort Zone?
Dr. Cohn’s Answer:
Challenge yourself to improve your lap times as you get further into the race. The issue is that you become too protective (or complacent) when you are in the lead and have the attitude to stay ahead of the others behind you. This sounds good, but might make you more defensive and then make more mistakes in this mindset. It’s almost the opposite of arm pump where a racer is trying so hard.
I will say though that Carmichael wins championships because he is consistent, not because he wins every moto. So you have to decide is the championship is more important than winning races.
Dr. Cohn’s Answer:
Do not neglect your mental preparation before a race. After you have adjusted your equipment and fueled up, it's time to fuel your mindset for a successful race. Many racers prefer to have a set pre-race routine they use 30-40 minutes prior to the start of the race. In fact, I teach all my students pre-race routines because this is an excellent time to integrate all the mental skills we learn.
I suggest that you remember the Three C's in mental preparation: Clarity, confidence, and commitment. These are three big buzzwords in my work. Clarity in my plan and strategy is the first step. You want to be clear in your mind what lines you will take and the strategy to outlast your competition. Confidence in you skills is number 2. I suggest to my students to fuel their own confidence before the start of a race and be proactive with their confidence. Hint: avoid playing other races on the box before the race has even started. Commitment to the race plan is number 3. You must be committed to your plan for the first two or three laps at least. I know track conditions with change and your need to be flexible, but you need to commit to a strategy before the green flag or gate drops.
How do I Stay Focused After Making a Mistake?
I lose my focus after making a mistake and can't forget about it. It affects me on the next lap or two. How do I Stay Focused After Making a Mistake?
Dr. Cohn’s Answer:
Mistakes can only hurt you if you dwell on them and give the mistake mental power. Mistakes are a natural part of being human. The driver who can respond well to the mistake will prevail. Your lack of focus is probably a result of one word: Dwelling! Dwelling in the past about how awful the mistake was and how stupid you were to doing it, only serves to keep you stuck in the past. The faster you can let go of the mistake, accept it, and move on with your driving, the faster you will race. You have to make a commitment to focus on the current lap instead of staying stuck in the past on an event that you can’t change!
That's it from Dr. Cohn for now. Be sure to race over to his website and sign up for his free 10-week mental training e-course for racers at www.racingpsychology.com or call him at 888-742-7225 for more information on his RacePsych mental coaching programs. Until next time, good luck with your training and, as always, VT can be reached anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org . In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section , your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.