This is the question I asked myself when I accepted the wonderful opportunity to assist a team of Australian cyclists reach a dream: To become the fastest Australian team to cycle non-stop from one side of USA to the other.
The event is called RAAM. And it is not like other cycle races. Most races have stages i.e. set distances to cover every day. RAAM does not. With this event, you start on the West coast of America, and you finish when you get to Annapolis on the East coast.
I am supporting two Australian teams of 4, and they want to do it faster than any previous Australian team. They are all amateur sportsmen, and all over 40 years of age. To meet their goal, they reckon they need to average over 32km/h (20mph) for over 3000 miles…over the Rockies and across the plains of Kansas (average cyclist do about 16km/h). Googles says it would take about 260 hours - they want to do it in 150 hours.
So when I asked the lead cyclist (whose idea it was) what he felt would be the biggest challenge on this adventure - he said physical condition and, probably more importantly, mindset. I said I could help with the latter.
Now I have been a coach for 15 years now and for the first 10 years of my career, I was a big NLPer. From an NLP grounding, there would be plenty of tools, techniques and mental strategies I could employ with the riders. However due to my stumbling across the Principles 5 years ago, I know there is something much more powerful for them to tap into, that would release even higher levels of performance and wellbeing.
My curiosity lay in how I was going enable them to see that for themselves. I am lucky enough now to have worked with a significant number of coaching clients from many walks of life since having a realisation of these wonderful Principles. The past 5 years have really been a journey of discovery. However my thinking was telling me this was a different ‘’application’’ to more normal - endurance, and physical performance. What’s more there would be some logistical limitations on how I could work with them; firstly since I meet these guys in Australia, I am now back in London so all preparation would have be virtual, and during the race itself how do I access the riders, as they would always either be sleeping, eating or pedalling? I pictured myself leaning out the window of the support car as they climbed the Rockies, having been awake for 40 hours, saying ‘’it is only thought you know’’ …..
Anyway I was happy in that 3P way to ‘see what came up’.
If you want to know what that was, and follow our journey, then follow these blog posts. I fly to the USA on the 17th June……
My first learning - Part 2
More learnings - Part 3