Bradley Wiggins took the lead in the Tour of Britain bike race today after winning the individual time trial. It’s no surprise that elite performers like Wiggins continue to give us great examples of how to prepare to deliver winning performances. The extract below from the BBC sport website shows how a desire to improve as an attitude can lead to meticulous preparation and an attention to detail in actual behaviour. Today’s course was only 20 minutes or so from Wiggins’ home and he said he’d lost count of how many times he’d practiced on it in the build up to today’s stage.

“Many riders opted not to practice in the morning rain, but Wiggins used the session to check how quickly he could race around the roundabouts in an effort to pick up crucial seconds on main rivals. “I’m not a great climber like, so I need to do a [good] time trial and gain in areas where guys won’t pay as much attention, especially when it’s raining.” ” 

(This is also a superb example of playing to strengths. Wiggins knows he’s not as good a hill climber as others in the race and so he was prepared to take risks in the wet conditions (risks of sliding off his bike and injuring himself) in order to exploit those strengths.)

Being able to consistently find opportunities to turn a desire to improve into meaningful action is a key characteristic of the consistently top performer. If you’re reading this you no doubt have a desire to improve, but how does this desire help you day to day?