Sam Webster and Patrick Bevin ply their trades on different surfaces, over different distances; but they both have to handle and master pressure about and around them. Here they give a couple of short personal insights and experiences around the subject.
Patrick Bevin – channel pressure into excitement
Pressure to perform is definitely something I feel both often and strongly; at the end of the day this is my job so that is part of it.
For me pressure comes from the unknown (which makes up a whole lot of racing). For the majority reading this it really shouldn’t be!! If you are out there for any of the million reasons that is not professional racing, pressure shouldn’t be a factor in what you do. It will almost certainly have a negative impact on your riding. Instead of pressure I try to channel that energy into excitement or interest in doing what you haven’t done before, exploring the performance vs worrying about the outcome.
Sam Webster – balance of intensity pre-race
The greatest pressure comes on me. I know what I’m capable of from all the training I’ve done and the data we’ve gathered. External pressure has to be viewed as support. If you let external pressure consume you, you won’t be able to optimise your performance. Whether the race is big or small, you feel the buzz, but definitely at different levels.
I have a deliberate ritual to get into the appropriate mindset before each race. This means I arrive at a race with clarity and intensity. Too much intensity and opportunities can be missed, but too passive and you won’t be in with a fighting chance. It takes practice to find your individual optimal state of mind.