Cus D’amato, the legendary boxing trainer of Mike Tyson and other top fighters, on courage:
“I tell my kids, what is the difference between a hero and a coward? What is the difference between being [cowardly] and being brave? No difference. Only what you do. They both feel the same. They both fear dying and getting hurt. The man who is [cowardly] refuses to face up to what he’s got to face. The hero is more disciplined and he fights those feelings off and he does what he has to do. But they both feel the same, the hero and the coward. People who watch you judge you on what you do, not how you feel.”
Boxing and racing have way more in common than one might think. There’s an element of being tactical in an environment of chaos, enduring pain when the rational thing to do is quit,and in general learning to be the “ eye of the hurricane”, as George Mumford would say. Learning to breathe and find calm focus in the middle of races improves decision making, lowers the sympathetic pain response,and improves coordination.
Reading the race report from Owen after this weekend’s CIF State Championship in Fresno reminded me of these parallels. 32nd out of 205 starters in the D5 race as a Sophomore is OUTSTANDING and one can only imagine the chaos in that first mile
( Which Owen ran in 5:01, wow!)
I’d love to hear, how are you preparing for your events mentally?
High School Coaches!
The Piedmont team will be running Zwift rides,workouts, and mock racing ( the kids favorite for sure) on Thursdays at 5 PM PST from Opening Day through the time change in March. These are open to all NorCal riders, we would like to ask that a coach from that riders team also participate to act as a touch point for questions the riders may have.
There are some technical requirements, but we got over 20 kids riding last year using existing team trainers and inexpensive speed/cadence sensors.
We use a Discord channel and in-app messaging to communicate and it gave us a ton of flexibility when the indoor spaces were closed or unavailable .
I’m happy to answer questions about all this if you’re interested!
Studies Of Interest
If you hear a lot of questions from me about stress outside of sports in daily life, this is why
Kudos And Results
Owen Irving- 32nd D5 Boys, CIF XC States, Fresno, CA
Caleb Smith- 1st Masters 40+, DoubleCross Day 1, Butler, PA