My life as a bobsled athlete is a constant juggling act balancing family, work, training, study, socialising… a common issue for many people! Over my athletic career I’ve learned certain techniques that help me to successfully complete this juggling act and still achieve my goals. In previous blogs, we covered the importance of planning and flexibility. This final blog will focus on the significance of a strong mental game in mastering your own juggling act.

Discipline is key to a strong mental game. There will be times when the last thing you feel like doing is putting on your shoes and pounding the sidewalk, or hitting the gym for some heavy weights – any excuse will do to avoid these sessions! But these are the moments when champions are made. There have been plenty of times when I’ve woken up early for a morning gym session and wanted nothing more than to hit snooze on the alarm clock. A trick that has worked for me is to simply start “lacing up the shoes.” Your mind is telling you to go back to sleep, but as you roll out of bed, put on your socks and tie your laces, your actions are forcing you to keep on moving, and eventually you’ll be out the door and on your way to achieving your goals.

A trick that has worked for me is to simply start “lacing up the shoes.”

A holistic approach to your schedule will help you to maintain balance and harmony and strengthen your mental game. After all, training is only one piece in the jigsaw puzzle of your life! It is very easy for one piece of that puzzle to start dominating the others, whether that is through work, training or even rest (ever spent too many hours “resting” in front of the TV…?) Having clearly defined boundaries will assist with this and allow you to mentally switch between different modes. While training, making a conscious effort to be present will help you get the most out of your session and not waste mental energy thinking about other things such the stresses of work or what you are having for dinner!

Smart training will also help you get the most out of your limited time. Make the sessions count by designing your training to address clearly defined goals. A focused approach will help you to address specific targets and weaknesses that are all directed towards achieving a common goal. It is also important to ensure your training is fun and interesting! Boredom is a quick route to giving up on your program and goals. Having a training partner or group is a good way to keep your sessions interesting and provides a sense of commitment, increased motivation and decreases the likelihood of skipping a session. Finally, while pushing for that personal record is great, always be mindful of your limits. You won’t be achieving record times in a hurry if you’re lying at home on the couch injured! Be smart with your approach to training.

Boredom is a quick route to giving up on your program and goals.

Planning, flexibility and a strong mental game are three areas I focus on to get the most out of my training. By ensuring you plan your life ahead, are flexible and roll with life’s punches, and try to build your mental game into a strength, you will eventually master your own juggling act. Good luck and happy training!