Updated: May 15
Try this handy little pocket mantra to help you overcome challenges in sport and life.
Fear is a naturally occurring emotion, an instinct for survival. It can paralyze you or give you a chance to assess the risk that lies in front of you and prepare accordingly. There are many ways to go about this!
Try this little pocket mantra to get you through a challenge! Coined by coach Mike Sousa, 'BREATHE - TRUST - COMMIT' is a great little package to carry with you on a ride, and in life!
"The other side of fear is freedom. Transcending fear is the ultimate freedom, because once you transcend it, you realize the anything is possible given the proper preparation" – Jerry Lynch, TaoSports Psychologist
Adrenelin is good! It keeps us focused and strong. Too much though can overhelm the mind and create physiological responses (stiff, shaking, excessive sweating) that hinder performance.
Often when confronted by a challenge - in sport and life - the response is heightened, not subdued. Either way, we need to get ourselves into an optimal level of arousal to perform our best.
To calm the system, breathwork works wonders! Your ability to function will be enhanced when you're able to calm down in a moment of fear.
A very simple way is to take 3-5 BIG DEEP BREATHS with a focus on 360 inhale pattern (think ribcage expanding like an umbrella) and down into your lower back and belly. You want to avoid breathing up into your shoulders as this will increase stress and tension.
Two quick effective ways to understand the trust you have in yourself to complete the challenge.
First, have a quick conversation with yourself. Have I ridden something similar to this before, have I done something that parallels this experience? Do I have the skills – the braking skills, the knowledge of body positioning - to execute this move, to move safely beyond this challenge? Do I have all the information I need, am I equipped?
Second, visualization. Visualizing success is key to healthy execution. Imprint the line, obstacle or challenge in your mind, close your eyes and see yourself riding the approach, obstacle and exit successfully. See yourself completing the challenge successfully!
The commit button should be pressed quickly after the first two steps. You trust yourself, you are optimally charged, you are ready. Flick those switches and go!
Mental training is key!
Remember, IT IS OK if you learn from this process that you may not be ready today, this week or this month. Perhaps you need more training, more time, or another day.
Also remember, you are not alone. EVERYONE has fear.
Training the mind is just as important (some will argue more) than training what's physical - our skills and strength. Join us for one of our mountain programs or private sessions where we will work this mantra alongside many other techniques to help you conquer fear!
ALSO. Want to have this friendly reminder on your bike? Head on over to our shop to purchase your own stem cap and have this tidy mantra stare you straight in the face!