What cyclists can learn from England vs Wales

Posted Sun, 27th Sep 2015


As a coach I don't just take inspiration from cycling but I look around at other sports and see if there is something different I can bring to my coaching.

This weekend was England vs Wales in the Rugby World Cup. It doesn't come much bigger and both teams provided a highly entertaining, intense and tight game. Wales came out the victors meaning that there were a lot of lessons learned on both sides.


Here are my key lessons that every cyclist should have taken away from the game.

1. Preparation
Preparation is everything. To be physically and mentally prepared for an event you have to prepare exactly right.

England used high altitude training to condition themselves and then made a selection choice early on so that they could train in the correct formations this week despite what the press said, it was probably a good call.

If you don't prepare for your event, you won't get the most out of it. That means having a plan, starting well in advance of when you think you should and don't let time get the best of you


2. Decision making
Decision making both on and off the pitch cost England dearly. This means you have to know exactly what you want to achieve and how to go about making those decisions work in your favour.

The decisions we make have to be clear and when you make that decision you have to back yourself.

Riding a bike can be very dangerous at times and we have to be very clear on our decision making for everyone around us whether that is other cyclists or motor vehicles. Be smart and make clear and effective choices.

3. Responsibility
Coaches, managers, team directors will do everything to prepare you mentally and physically for an event. Once you get to the start line, the responsibility falls on you.

England's decision making on the pitch cost them and therefore the responsibility falls on the players and captain. You can only help someone try and make the right decision but if they choose a different path, you have to move on and become better because of it.

4. Mentality
Your ability to cope under pressure needs to be a critical personality trait in cyclists. With traffic, clip in pedals, other riders, fatigue there are many elements that can affect your state of mind.

If you can cope under pressure you will
Make the right decisions. Wales didn't panic when they lost key players to injury, they just kept calm, moved up the pitch and put England under pressure. Correct calls were made and it paid off.

Make sure you prepare the mind as well as the body to be ready for an event, which means make a clear decision on what event you want to do, prepare yourself and take responsibility to become a better hill climber, speed demon or to lose some weight. Aka, see above!


5. Motivation
When something goes wrong, you have to have the right people around you to stay motivated. You need to move on quickly when something bad happens, whether it is injury, losing, damaged bike etc.

Last nights loss to Wales will be a massive blow to the England Squad. It will really hit them hard knowing that next week is a win at all costs game. Huge pressure will be placed on their shoulders.

Monday will be all about looking at what they did right to give the players a positive frame of mind.

Loses are the hardest to take but you have to stay clear on your goal, and you have to keep on fighting to make sure you achieve what you set out to achieve.

Use these 5 lessons to achieve your goals this year. To apply for a free coaching week and see how we can help you achieve those cycling goals this year, click this link and fill out your details:


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