What is your strategy for competition day? Is it as optimal as it could/should be? Is it set up to get the best out of you and does it set you up for success?
I will show you how we set up for success on competition day using an example of an athlete I coached at a recent championship.
The team I coach with, always try and instil the value of preparation and discipline. We always state the importance of nailing the basics and fundamentals.
Now don’t get me wrong. I completely understand that we can’t plan for everything, but I believe we certainly can try to be prepared for as much of it as possible.
Here is an example of a race day schedule:
- Heats (5): 16:30 and call up 16:17
- Semi (3): 17:50 and call up 17:37
- Finals: 18:25 and call up 18:12
We always plan back from the final, because this would be the ultimate aim of the day. It might not be agreed upon or initial goal but we have to be prepared.
If you don’t plan for it, you may fall short when you get there or worse never get there.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail “— Benjamin Franklin
How Do we plan?
I want them to be asking the correct questions. Here is a note that I came up with for my athletes to use on competition days:
These questions allow myself or the athlete to then sit down and come up with a race day plan.
Race Day Plan:
These might look like a simple thing to do, but it still surprises me how many teams and athletes don’t do this.
In my experience, with the athletes that I work alongside, it is the unknown that causes problems and not being unprepared can only worsen a bad situation.
If this simple idea helps someone cope with the pressure and circumstance of competition day, then I have succeeded as a coach. I’m in the job of surviving and helping others succeed.
I am going to leave you with a quote from the great coach Wooden.
“When Tumultuous times call, get back to basics”- John Wooden
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