Welcome to my blog.
There are 52 articles here, each of which is at most a few screenfuls. They’re about strengthening the mental side of your riding, and how that can help strengthen you off the bike as well.
This page is your navigation page. Each article is listed by title and hotlinked (in blue) here, and grouped into the categories you also see on the right side of the page. The categories and articles:
Evaluate Your Mental Skills — This can be a good place to start, since the articles in this section have links to many of the other articles on this blog. Articles in this section:
Making a Difference in Your Mental Fitness — My most recent post, and a great launching point for your exploration of mental fitness; lots of links here.
Assessing Your Mental Fitness — Simple steps to self-evaluation.
The 5 Core Skills — In my work with athletes, I’ve found that five mental skills are central to mental fitness. Articles in this section:
Overview — Introduces the core skills.
Goal-Setting — How to set goals and manage yourself to them.
Effective Self-Talk — How to stop being hard on yourself.
Managing Emotions — Your nerves/stress/fears, in particular, can get in your way big-time.
Concentration — How to create, sustain, and regain focus.
Communication — Key skills that help you with teammates, coaches, and others.
Integral Elements — The building blocks of the 5 Core Skills. Articles in this section:
Self-Awareness — It all starts here. How to strengthen it.
Building Self-Confidence — It all ends here. How to strengthen it.
Breathing Techniques — A fundamental tool for focus and de-stressing.
Visualization — Another fundamental tool for focus and de-stressing.
Advanced Skills — Your work on the Core Skills, and their Integral Elements, gives you a foundation for building higher-level skills. Articles in this section:
Increasing Your Tolerance for Suffering — When the going gets tough, manage the pain longer.
Sustaining Motivation — How to beat back the downers.
Handling Pressure — Builds on Managing Emotions article re: managing stress.
Managing Your Will to Succeed — Not too little, not too much.
Setting and Challenging Limits — What are yours? How and when to push them?
Beating the Winter Blues — You might feel low in the winter months; here’s what to do about it.
Putting Failure in its Place — Everyone falls short sometimes. Don’t let it throw you.
Seize the Moment in Your Race — How to give everything at the crucial moment.
How Much is Too Much? — When to push through, and when to back off.
When Things Don’t Go Your Way— When the game changes, the mentally fit cyclist avoids common traps and quickly restores focus, motivation, and commitment.
Pre-Race Mental Preparation — How to get to the start mentally ready.
Relationships — Relationships can have a huge effect on sport performance: Coaches, teammates, competitors, even your relationship with yourself. These articles help you figure out how to get (and, sometimes, give) the support you need:
Self-Interest and Cooperation — Manage the tension between personal goals and those of the group, team, and sport.
Comparing Yourself With Others — It can be helpful, and it can be toxic. Here’s how to know.
Get the Most from a Coach, Part 1 — Keys to developing an effective relationship.
Get the Most from a Coach, Part 2 — Building blocks of good coaching, from coaches who know.
The Importance of Being Supported — The mentally fit cyclist knows which types of support to look for, ask for and put in place.
Supporting Yourself — Giving yourself what you need – and not giving yourself what you don’t need – affects your performance, fun, and results on the bike.
Leading and Following — Both on and off the bike, how to influence other cyclists for their benefit, for yours, and for the good of the team/group.
The Other Side of Competition — What can the heat of competition transform within you?
Injury — These articles help you prevent and recover from injuries:
Recovering from Crashes, Part 1 — Pro Steven Cozza, his coach, and his doctor tell you how he did it.
Recovering from Injury, Part 1 — The five-step process.
Recovering from Injury, Part 2 — Pro Ted King of Liquigas-Cannondale and Dr. Renee Newcomer Appaneal give you tips.
Integrating — The articles here are about integrating intellect, emotions, body, and spirit in sport, and some deeper things — such as desire, perfectionism, and anger — that we athletes can come up against in ourselves as we work on the mental side of our game. Articles in this section:
Integrating Body and Mind — When you improve the connection between body and mind, you can more effectively develop your mental skills.
The Power of Cyclotherapy — In addition to working so hard on your cycling, how about letting cycling work more deeply on you?
How Good Do You Need to Be? — The mentally fit cyclist knows how to silence the voice that says, “I’m not good enough.”
How Bad Do You Need to Be? — Being tough. Being aggressive. Getting angry. It could be exactly what you need.
Higher Power? — Connecting cycling and spiritual life may offer a powerful source of inner strength and fulfillment for the mentally fit cyclist.
Desire — It can make the difference between missing out and getting the most from your cycling – and yourself.
Interviews — A number of candid interviews here with mentally fit athletes. In this section:
Moving Forward by Letting Go, Part 2 — Laura Charameda, Frankie Andreu, and Dylan Casey help us understand what we can learn about letting go from their experiences leaving the pro peloton.
The Mind of a Mentally Fit Pro Cyclist — Pros Katheryn Curi Mattis, Steven Cozza, and Ben Jacques-Maynes tell some surprising and inspiring stories.
More Minds of Mentally Fit Pros — Pros Amber Neben, Scott Nydam, Christine Thorburn, and Tom Zirbel talk about what it takes to succeed in a stage race, and how we mere mortals can apply that wisdom on and off the bike.
The Mind of a Mentally Fit EuroPro — Pros Andy Hampsten, Meredith Miller, and Amber Rais explain how mixing it up in Europe strengthened their mental skills.
The Mind to Ride Around the World — The amazing Roei “Jinji” Sadan describes the mental skills he used on his 40,000-mile journey.
Improving Your Sleep — A doctor and cyclist tells you how.
Teens — How to work with, and learn from, teen athletes on their core mental skills. Articles here:
Coaching Core Mental Skills with Teen Cyclists — A free PDF that can help you coach teens.
Beginner’s Mind, Part 1 — An updated version of the PDF.
Beginner’s Mind, Part 2 — Three teen cyclists talk about the mental side of their game.
Each of the articles has links — words in blue — that will take you to related articles (in a separate window). All of the articles, in some cases in slightly different form, were originally published on PezCyclingNews.com.
Please leave comments if you wish — I’d love to hear from you.
You can click any of the links in blue above, or this will take you back to my most recent post.
All the best, Marv