Attitude and spirit – the pillars of performance


The world is full of people doing extraordinary things. And there’s something that fascinates us about people who are taking on seemingly impossible challenges, pushing themselves to the limit or making brave life choices. We’re envious, we’re inspired or we’re simply transported to a different place in our imagination. And many of us, at one point or another, will have wished we were the “type of person” that might allow us to do what we dream of doing, but don’t.

Pushing the boundaries

On 1st November, 16 ordinary people will be embarking on an extraordinary and challenging journey. They’re taking part in the first ever supported round the world team cycling race, and over the next few weeks will be riding across the US on the first leg of the race. They’re amateur cyclists – folk like you and me, without any prior experience of doing hardcore endurance events.

Over the coming weeks they’ll be pushed to their absolute limits. They’ll have to perform in extreme conditions. They’ll have to trust and rely on people they barely know to simply get through each day. They’ll need to tap into a physical and mental reserve that at the moment they don’t think they have.

United by choice

All the riders know they’re doing something extraordinary (by other people’s standards) and they also know that it’s going to be challenging (if not quite the exact size and nature of the challenge). They’ll be bound together by this, and also by the knowledge that they’ve all chosen to take this challenge on. They’re the people who aren’t sitting at home thinking “I wish I could do that….but…”. They’re choosing to get on and do it and choosing to be that “type of person”.

Fuelled by attitude and spirit

It’s that spirit and attitude which will power them across the US over the coming weeks. They’ll also need some other stuff – like high tech bikes, great discipline around nutrition, savvy tactics and mental strength and resilience – but their fundamental desire, attitude and spirit will act as the essential foundations. As official partners for Race the World – providing high performance expertise and coaching to the teams – we’re helping the teams prepare for the race, perform through the coming challenge and then take their personal learning about their performance into other areas of life – like work – when they’re back home.

Tapping into that attitude and spirit will be something we’ll be suggesting the riders do throughout the race. Remembering that they’re doing something extraordinary, recalling that to do it was a choice they made (when the going get’s tough) and tapping into determined and ‘can-do’ spirit will be some of the things we’ll be suggesting through the race.

Your attitude – your choice

Choosing the right attitude (and in case you haven’t picked up by now, it is a choice) is fundamental to being the best you can be. And doing it consistently is the key to getting close to fulfilling your potential over the long term. So next time you’re sitting at home and find yourself thinking “I wish I could do that…but…”, have a word with yourself. We generally have more choice than we believe we do. And we most certainly can choose our attitude – to anything.

So check in with what attitudes you’re choosing and how they’re helping – or hindering – you being the best you can be. And if you don’t like what you see, choose a different attitude – one that allows you to starting doing things you wish you could do, but don’t.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing the progress of the teams and offering our high performance perspective on our blog and twitter feed. We’ll also be getting some great insider insight from the race from one of the team captains, Sophie Radcliffe, who’s also a K2 Ambassador. Click the links to find out more about Race the World and Challenge Sophie.