21 December 2011

Training the ability to try

If you see people in action during training (it’s easiest to observe in a traditional weights/cardio gym), it’s not hard to notice that theres a massive difference between the majority who are having a ‘light’ session to say the least, and the much smaller proportion who are really working their bodies hard.
As an aside, If you do see those people in the gym who look like they aren’t trying - don’t scoff inwardly (or outwardly!) at them - not everyone goes to the gym to work hard. Some people exercise to relax and wind down. And remember you don’t see what other workouts they get up to. You might be surprised!
Sometimes folk don’t have the right peer group to influence them to learn to try really hard, sometimes, they just haven’t found the right motivation, or more likely they just don’t realise how hard they could be trying. This is not something that applies to some and not others. Everyone has room to really grit their teeth and work themselves harder.
It’s true in many cases that the best athletes are the ones who are trying hardest. It’s not always the case for various reasons and it’s too simplistic and misleading to view athletic success purely as a product of effort. However, that doesn’t change the point that if you can find ways to try harder, you’ll go further.
I talked a lot about how to do that in my book, but one thought for your training sessions over the Christmas period; Before you go for your session, or have your next attempt on the problem, or circuit, or route, imagine what it would feel like if you were to try harder than you’ve ever tried before. Think about how your fingers would feel crushing down on that little hold. Think about how you’d grab the next hold and start pulling lightning fast and concentrate on keeping pulling with maximum force right through the move until your feet swing back in. Think about how sore your skin and arms will feel on that last circuit and how you’ll detach yourself from it and keep right on slapping. Think about the mindset of those climbers who inspire you by their amazing feats of climbing. What do you think goes through their mind when they train? They are people on a mission! They have learned to love their training and they feel satisfaction that every last grain of hard effort takes them closer to the routes they are on the mission to climb. So what's your mission?
Now repeat through the whole of next year!

1 comment:

Toby said...

Hey Dave,
I just recently grabbed your book and have been working through it. I'm really enjoying it so far. I don't have much to add here, I just think it's great that you're posting coaching tips on an ongoing basis and wanted to show my support!

Breaking out the "try hard" is something I do when I'm outdoors on a rope, but I have a hard time doing when I'm training because the psyche is usually a bit lower. Thanks for the reminder that trying hard is a habit, and the creation of that habit is an important facet of training.