Last year we attended a fabulous clinic with McLain Ward. A poignant question asked by Wynne Weatherly to him during an hour long meet and greet after the first day “How do you handle your nerves?” We were all surprised and chuckled when his response was “Not very well”
He then went on to explain how hard it is handle ones nerves… we joke how it takes a village to ride and show… its this same village that one can feel pressured by due to no fault of their them, to do well, and to feel like a failure when it doesn’t go well. He went on to describe his first World Cup experience. Successful in the first leg of it, it was his to lose after everyone else had faults. He could go as slow and as careful as he wanted, he only needed to go clear. The pressure got him. After spending 30 minutes in the bathroom crying (his words!) his round had 4 faults and he ended up not winning.
He had been given the name of a sports psychologist named Bob Rotella who has helped LeBron James, Pat Bradley, and many other high profile basket ball and golf players. He booked a session with him and got his book. He attributes his 30% improvement rating to this move. This moved a few of us, including me, who bought the book “How Champions Think” by Bob Rotella.
When McLain Ward won the World Cup last month, an honor that had alluded him until now, among others that he thanked and gave credit to was to his sports psychologist Bob Rotella.
After reading this book, I feel that not only can it help athlete’s and riders of McLain Ward’s calibre, but of all levels. I recommend it to all of our riders, those who are a bit young to read it will have something to look forward to as they progress!