This week I will talk about something that many of you have asked me- tips in both training and competition in speed trials. What is the secret “key”?
In my opinion, the first key, both in training and in competition, in speed tests is the search for sensations. With the term “search for sensations” I mean both psychological work – activation control, visualization work of what would be your perfect career, as well as physical work – trying to be completely at ease during the race (any tense muscles causes an overload and reduces your performance). The sensations in each phase of the race you have trained for and visualised is the first feedback that an athlete gets from any training or competition, and they are a fundamental tool in the daily work with the coach when you want to achieve a high performance.
Secondly I would highlight preparation. You may ask: is the search for sensations more important to you than preparation? In many cases, in my view, the final result of a high level competition is determined in the same and even to a greater extent by the ability to get physical and psychological sensations from the competition rather than through preparation, although, of course, preparation is basic to get the optimum sensations and to know how to manage and interpret them properly. But, assuming that preparation is a given at the highest levels of sport, I consider it more important at competition time to find the optimum sensations than the differences that may exist in terms of preparation among the participants.
The third key, for me, is trust. Having confidence in yourself and, of course, confidence in your team – trainer, doctor, physiotherapist . In a field as demanding as high level sport, where only a few hundredths of a second separates the winner from the rest, confidence is a must. Trust in the work you have done, in being able to get the best out of yourself at the right time. To trust that at the end of the day, the road travelled will decisively mark the final result.
All these keys, and many others, are decisive in the final result in athletics and many other sports. But above all, what I think makes the difference between good athletes and the best ones is the ability to know oneself: knowing where your goal is and how to reach it, knowing what your strengths are – to take advantage of them – and your weaknesses – to work on them – know your limits so you can challenge them, master every aspect of your life. In short, being able to know yourself, correct yourself, change yourself with the sole purpose of getting through the day to day, experience to experience, training to training competition to improve yourself and, in this way, try to be the best you can be every day.