Blocks to Performance
Bike riders find it generally easy to focus on the practical and technical aspects of the sport, such as training, diet and nutrition and equipment but we can often find that psychological factors can prevent us giving our best in competition despite all other bases being covered.
For example, I am sure we all know riders who experience “performance anxiety” who tend to go well in training but do comparatively less well in competition, often avoiding or making excuses for their performance. These problems often involve fears about being judged or evaluated, or possibly fear of failure.
Riders can also underperform due to what is known as “post-traumatic” anxiety. This means that following an accident or injury riders may feel anxious in particular situations such as cornering, in the bunch or descending. A rider may “cover the brakes” unconsciously in such settings as they are geared up to expect further accidents or to “protect” an injury. This will tend again to reduce performance and enjoyment when riding.
These problems are difficult to overcome as the motivations for such behaviours are often unconscious. Cyclotherapy offers a clinical approach to such problems where evidence-based psychological techniques are employed to remove these blocks to performance.