Visualization – Mental Game part 1

Most motorsports are a combination of skill and confidence. Sure, skill is an essential ingredient, but having confidence plays a big part in racing. When JS7 first turned pro, many thought he was arrogant. However, this “confident” front helped turn James into what he is today. So, how does one get this confidence? Visualization. Seeing and knowing that you can win is half the race.

A good place to explain visualization is on the start. This is where YOU determine whether the race is going to be easy or difficult for yourself. Sure, having quick reflexes and good starting technique are going to help, but having that confidence could be the difference between holeshot and midpack. Okay, this is where it starts to get a little weird, but it works. Close your eyes and see yourself getting the holeshot from your perspective, through your goggles. Think about making clean shifts and staying straight out of the gate. Then put yourself in a spectators place; see yourself getting the holeshot from their perspective.

This gives you the confidence needed to get that start. If you say to yourself, “Holy crap, there are 39 other guys here and they are all fast…getting a good start is going to be impossible”, you are setting yourself up for failure. The visual aspect and confidence aspect go hand and hand; if you can see yourself crossing the finish line first, you have already beat 80% of the competition. I remember a few years back, I went to Seminole Tribe Motocross to race the Loretta Area Qualifier. At the time, I was in C class and there were so many riders, they had to have 2 heats. This was my first qualifier and I psyched myself out. I even had lap times in practice that were just as good as the top 5 guys.

However, I kept thinking that I was going to get caught up in traffic and bottlenecked. What happened? I got bottlenecked and came out of the first turn, mid pack. It played over and over in my mind and that mindset was set into motion on track. Motocross has a lot to do with riding technique and training, but if don’t have that confidence, your mind is the only keeping you from reaching the next level. Tomorrow I’ll give a little look at what Tiger Woods does for mental training….it’s pretty crazy, but it works.
MotoSport, Inc.

Posted on Nov 16 2009, under Riding Techniques, Training | No Comments »

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