Preserve or Protect?

What kind of athlete are you?

Do you look after yourself, not getting into any trouble, massaging the throttle carefully? Or do you push yourself to the limit, full gas … and sometimes beyond?

Are you the trouble maker in a group? Or do you just try to hang on for when the attacks happen?

Do you go at an even pace, keeping away from the red zone? Or do you go as fast and for as long as you can, dealing with the consequences when you cross that bridge?

The answers to these questions uncover what we at MentalWorks call your “training and racing dispositions”. There are fundamentally two categories here: self-preserving and self-sacrificing.

Self-preserving athletes are those who tend to run, ride or swim *within* themselves, steering clear of their physical limits. They tend to finish their events, but do not necessarily perform to their true potential, leaving a lot in the tank at the end. Self-sacrificing athletes tend to perform *beyond* themselves, putting everything on the line and flirting with their limits … many times pushing beyond their limit, thus obliterating their tank! These athletes will be fast, but they are unlikely to finish their events because they blow early on.

What makes you a self-preserving or self-sacrificing athlete? Many things of course, but it’s ultimately down to your psychological make-up: who you believe you have to beat. The big battle for many self-preserving athletes is overcoming themselves – their insecurities, their fears, their lack of confidence. The demon is within and the victory in MentalWorks is building confidence. Confidence produces breakthrough results. The war for self-sacrificing athletes is competitors, not themselves. Their world is orientated around doing their best to beat someone else. The demon is external, and interestingly the mental work is around knowing when to tap off, not be at the mercy of a competitors tactics … and in how to deal with failure.

So what kind of athlete are you?

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