Stress and Preparation

This past weekend was a special one for James Stewart.  After all of the controversy, he came out on top and finally got the win that he and his camp desperately needed.  With so much going on and off the track and the intensity of the competition, many doubted James’ ability to rebound.  His emotional interview on the podium was a clear indication of how much stress he is under.  Although James is at the highest level of performance, even amateurs have pressures that force them into a “funk”.

Let’s first look at a defined meaning of stress. It is a substantial imbalance between demand and response capability.  This demand and response can be broken down into 4 stages: Environmental Demand (physical and/or psychological), Perception of Demand, Stress Response, and Behavior Cosequences.  This is really a fancy way of saying that something or some one will create some kind of pressure or demand for you.  Depending on the extent of this, your body and mind will make changes to overcome this demand (not sleeping or anxiety) and these changes affect performance.

Obviously for James, he had more than a few demands and his performance was affected.  By breaking down what you are stressing over, you can change your training to overcome these issues.  Sometimes you may need to back it down and take a few days off or you may need to step it up to train harder.  In  most cases, the bigger the race the more, the perception of demand will be greater.

In my opinion, the only way to minimize stress is to be prepared both physically and mentally.  Stress from racing comes from uncertainty.  How do I compare to the other riders in my class?  The summer heat is going to kill me, will I be able to hold up?  Instead of asking these questions, put your time in during the week and avoid this void of anxiety.  Have confidence in your abilities as an athlete and a rider so you can concentrate on winning, not worrying about losing.

So relax, train hard and have fun racing your dirt bike.  Here’s a nice little quote:

Stress is an admission of weakness, a cry of defeat to the world. ~Carrie Latet

Posted on Apr 12 2011, under Training | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Stress and Preparation”

  1. “so you can concentrate on winning, not worrying about losing.” Well said!!!

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