Reply To: Cycle crashes

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M N Viswanath

First of all, crashes can be devastating, because they sap you of your confidence and belief that you can complete the race ahead of the others in good time. When you are involved in a crash you lose time which is a vital factor in a rally like the tour-de-France. The riders after the crash doubt themselves whether they will be able to make up for the lost time and distance. Especially when the bikes are damaged and they have to wait for mechanic to arrive and put them back on the road- the waiting time can lead to a lot of negative self-talk,doubts and can make the person fidgety, panicky, chaotic and restless.He believes he cannot complete the race. -it can add to his woes if the rider is injured.To the professional who is used to all this he has his coping mechanisms and is not unduly worried about the `un-controllables’ he would remain positive and think of what he can do ahead without losing his confidence. Fear, negative emotions and doubt can pull your confidence down. These are times when a confident and optimistic athlete would think of the completion of the race without any more hindrances,he should talk to himself positively, back himself up, remember the past successful experiences. It is possible for the riders who are involved in a crash to get back at top speed- provided they are courageous[ opposite of fear], optimistic, positive, in the present and focused on the process unmindful of what may happen ahead. They would surely think of the strategies they would adapt instead of ruing at what happened. If you saw Lance Armstrong go off the track then come back to street you will agree with me that champions are a determined lot are always emotionally in control with themselves[do not panic],they believe in themselves and their abilities.