Brain Training

Training Insights

Cyclist on race
Photo by Jacek Dylag / Unsplash

It’s an exciting time as the advances in performance and what we know about the brain and our perception come together. The advances in neuroscience show us that even at a brain level, the incoming sensory information is not processed in real time. Our brains are constantly generating predictions about the outside world based on our previous experiences.

The brain uses that to process incoming sensory information. This means that an athlete in process is not dealing with a direct representation of the external process, but rather a construct built on previous experience and expectation.

So can I trust my thoughts to be in alignment with my process? Not if I believe my thoughts are who I am. The brain can and does change itself, however, based on the input you give it, not in the way you “think”, but in the way you “feel”.If you want to change something, you have to match the frequency of that feeling.

That is how we draw what we want, or push it away from us. This choice is unconscious and that’s a huge problem for an athlete who has to deal with challenges in real time rather than in filtered time.

So the training is to make this unconscious choice, conscious! So, if you are thinking doubtful thoughts, you are going to be experiencing a disconnect between the process out there and the connection in here. If you don’t have the self awareness to know that your thoughts are pushing you away from your goal, then there's not a whole lot you can do about it, right?

If you want to get to the quality that you seek, you have to remove the middle man that is perceiving this experience based on what’s happened before and recreating the very conditions that you most certainly don’t want a repeat of.

This is where visualisation becomes a tool to create the feeling of what you want rather than the thoughts of what you don’t want. If you leave it to race day, regardless of what you have done physically, you are dragging the memory and the expectation of the past into this new opportunity.

Trail running at Madeira's Northern coast
Photo by Shawn Levie / Unsplash

In life terms, this is exactly why we become bored and apathetic, regardless of what we do. Unless we use the feeling that we want to create now, we will always recreate the feelings of the past. I bang this drum, again and again, to every athlete and human who will listen.

The responsibility for the reality you are creating is in your hands. I didn’t learn this by studying, I learnt this the bloody hard way. I would dearly love to save you the trouble.

That’s why I coach. So, stop ruminating over what you are, or are not doing. It’s the same dialogue you’ve been running since childhood, there's nothing new there.

Paint the picture of what it is you want to feel and experience using visualisation, get the feeling that you are already there, let the heart feel and experience that trust.

Once it Earths itself you will finally understand the meaning of the word confidence.Confidence has only one meaning;