Hey @Coach_Theia, what a big topic of discussion! I wonder how many other cyclists have a similar
‘fear’ after big crashes.
A few comments that I would make here:
1) You Give Power to What You Pay Attention To
The simple fact is, it is easy to go back to the crash and replay everything that happened in your head over and over again trying to figure out what happened or simply because it was an emotional event. The problem with this is that, by replaying the event in your mind, your body will respond just as if the event just happened. You will get that anxious feeling, maybe feel a little sick, and the fear response will kick in…
Know now that THIS IS OK!!! However, what is not ok is sitting in the image of what you fear and giving it more power. I would ask that if you find yourself thinking about or imaging the crash to 1) acknowledge it and 2) simply shift your attention to a few reasons why you are a good bike handler.
Give power to what you can control in these situations rather than to the uncontrollable event.
Take a moment to write down thoughts, images, or anything that can tip you off of the fact that you are engaging in the fear.
Then, take a moment to write down as many controllable skills that you have that will enable you to execute and manage the race (IE… bike handling).
The game is simple from here… If you find any of those tip off’s, acknowledge it and then shift the attention to the controllable. That is one rep. Remember that mental strength and GRIT is a practice. So get practicing!
I would personally be interested to hear the tactics other cyclists use when they feel fear start creeping in…
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU FEEL THE FEAR START CREEPING IN?
2) Stay Focused On Pre Race Norm
There is no reason to change anything from your normal pre race routine… Even after a crash. The pre race routine is there for a reason… To get you ready no matter the event type or circumstance. Just execute the routine.
Note: If you don’t have a routine I would advise that you begin to work through your past “great” races and begin to identify the effective things you did to go into those races ‘READY’. Write those items down and begin to create a semblance of a routine that works well for you!
Hopefully, this is helpful! Let me know if you or anyone has any questions!