For the main foundation you can look to a man called Dave Brailsford. He’s the performance director of British Cycling. As it happens, I hate all the jargon and multi layered coaching, but it’s been the way of top level sport for a long time.
The theory is that all the coaching comes into line with the strategic aims of the relevant sport, and that’s the case with Brailsford. Starting with the track, he decided that all the top level cyclists needed to base themselves around the same velodrome.
In short terms, that was the start of a bucket load of success – the British cyclists became feared in the cycling world, and won a big haul of golds in Beijing. After Beijing, Brailsford turned his attention to the road, and as head of the newly formed Sky team, he proclaimed that a Brit would win the Tour de France within 5 years.
That was in 2009, and in 2012, only 3 years into his 5 year plan, Bradley Wiggins became the first Brit to win the biggest race in road cycling. That success came from fully committing to the idea of team cycling, that one rider would be picked as the main challenger and the others would be used tactically to support the one.
Road cycling is a hugely tactical affair, and trying to win it individually as a top rider is a forlorn hope.
Back to the Olympics, and road cycling, at the Athens 2004 Games, Brit Nicole Cooke was a red hot favourite, but she was on her own with no-one to help her tactically, and the other teams with more riders used that to spoil her chances.
That was noticed, and in 2008 Cooke had a full set of supporting riders, who could ride their races in a way that supported Cooke. The result? Cooke took the gold.
Fast forward to 2012, and this tactic was expected to deliver gold for Mark Cavendish. After all, it was the same set of riders that had won Le Tour for Wiggins, so it should work, right?
Well, no, it didn’t.
Partly due to one mistake of judgement by the Brits, and another mistake by other teams, Cavendish’s challenge was taken out of the equation.
In the women’s race though, a different story with Lizzie Armitstead. The team rode their tactical race to perfection plus they had the support of other teams at just the right times, and Armitstead had the best race of her life to get a silver.
Superb, and yet another demonstration that by learning from others, and putting a system in place, you can achieve the most amazing things! Your goal may not be to win a cycling medal, but whatever your goal is, is there a system you know you should be following?
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‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget to take a look at my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’