3 min read

Performance Training

I recently read The Cyclists Training Bible by Joe Friel who is an endurance sports coach, elite triathlon and cycling coach. The book offers a blueprint for those pursuing extraordinary dreams which in this case is focused on optimal cycling performance.

One aspect that resonated with me was the similarity between the rigorous routines of elite athletes striving for excellence in their sports and the dedication I've seen in individuals achieving exceptional success in business, personal growth, and other goal-oriented endeavors. Here are some key insights I synthesized from the book.

Dreams are the Genesis of Achievement

High performance in any area begins with a dream. This dream is more than just a passing idea; it is a constant vision that drives one to take action and inspires from within. Many outstanding athletes come from modest backgrounds, their journey starts with a dream. Before any significant achievement occurs, there must be an inspiring moment—a dream that keeps coming back and demands attention. Hold onto this dream, refine it, and evolve it into a tangible goal. This is the first step in a series of many towards excellence.

Dreams Need to be Transformed into Missions

Achieving greatness is contingent upon transitioning from dreaming to doing. It demands more than idle wishes; it requires clear objectives and consistent commitment. Excellence is rare because it demands setting a clear objective and chasing it with unwavering dedication. This relentless chase turns mere goals into a mission, providing purpose and direction to guide the journey forward. Navigating future challenges successfully demands adopting an intentional mindset, typical of a person deeply dedicated to their mission.

Success Hinges on Mental Fitness

Based on Dr. Graham Jones's study of Olympic medal winners in "How the Best of the Best Get Better and Better," success is often the result of mental resilience coupled with specific attributes: detailed goal-setting, unwavering motivation, dedication to excellence, resilience in the face of failure, the strength to recover from difficulties, a steadfast avoidance of self-reproach, significant confidence in one's abilities, and the capacity to both savor victories and analyze them for ongoing growth. These attributes are essential, not just in sports but also in realizing ambitious goals across other fields.

The Foundation of Excellence is Consistent Commitment

The essence of commitment lies in consistent action. Ambitious goals necessitate resolute commitment, which in turn requires a disciplined daily routine. This concept echoes timeless quotes. Aristotle stated, "Virtues are formed in man by his doing the actions." Will Durant, in "The Story of Philosophy," paraphrased this idea, saying, "We are what we repeatedly do... therefore, excellence is not an act, but a habit."

A Supportive Network Can Unlock Success

Achievement is rarely a solo endeavor. It's critical to be surrounded by a team—be it mentors, peers, or supporters—who are positive, successful, and believe in the mission. This environment not only fosters growth but also shields one from negativity that can derail ambitions. The influence of the team can significantly impact outcomes. Their understanding, encouragement, and belief in the goals are a force multiplier that enhances the likelihood of achieving success. Conversely, a lack of support can pose substantial obstacles. It’s significantly more challenging to succeed when the team one surrounds themself with thinks what they are doing is a waste of time and/or isn't supportive. It's crucial to engage with those who are supportive and distance oneself from those who are negative.

Drive Must Originate Internally

The greatest obstacles are frequently not physical or external, but rather exist within one's mind. While skills can be developed and strategies taught, motivation must come from within. It's the inner drive, sparked by the dream, that propels one forward. Without it, the path to excellence grows dim. Recognizing this highlights the importance of self-motivation and mental resilience in the pursuit of goals.

A Regimented Life Makes Things Achievable

High achievers often lead lives marked by routine and discipline. This consistency in daily actions and habits forms the bedrock of progress towards ambitious goals. It's about doing the necessary work day in and day out, even when it seems mundane or challenging.


Reflecting on all this, I'm reminded of the inspiration that comes from observing athletes achieve greatness—often without witnessing the immense effort required to reach those peaks. The remarkable dedication and work ethic that Kobe Bryant demonstrated behind the scenes, as depicted in Spike Lee's documentary "Kobe Doin' Work," underscored that Kobe was destined for greatness in any endeavor he chose to pursue. Similarly, mountain climbing documentaries like "Valley Uprising," "Free Solo," and "The Alpinist" captivate audiences with stories of athletes who meticulously plan and courageously pursue their dreams at all costs. Often, the most significant obstacle they face is their own mindset. These tales of exceptional athletic accomplishments, along with the journeys to achieve them, highlight the boundless possibilities that reside within each of us.