In the past week, numerous athletes have come to me with these simple words. They are pleading for new purpose before reflecting on past accomplishments. A lesson we can all learn here is that it’s time to build in post-season reflection as part of our programs. In fact, my athletes will all re-visit their 2012 goal sheets and compare end-of-season results with what they set out to do. Perhaps it’s time for you to do the same and to look back over the year before you look forward. Sure you can chose not to, but then how would you grow in 2013?
Here are a few tips to help you process your season and to break it down into bite-size pieces. You may chose to journal, talk with your coach, or whisper to your pillow. But regardless of your method, get your thoughts together before you race to sign up for next year’s endeavors.
First- Did you accomplish your race goals? Were these goals time-based, place-based or more expansive? For example, a narrow race goal would be placing first in your age group, etc. A broader goal would be repeating the same course and improving your time from the previous year.
Second: Did you set realistic goals for yourself? ( Coaches are great at helping with this!! )
Third: Looking at each sport individually, did you show tangible improvements in skill and execution? Did your program remind you to hone your skills and to do more than simply swim, bike, run, and repeat?
Finally: Did you grow as both an athlete AND a person, taking key life lessons from your training. The strongest physical athletes cultivate the strongest minds in training. Your lessons in discipline, faith, clear communication, self-reliance, and suffering are not lost on the roads of your last bike ride. Imagine that you take these lessons into the rest of your life. Perhaps your training hours weren’t just about the fitness and race results, the M Dot Tattoes or the Finishers medals.
Dare to reflect and to grow from your 2012 training. Take your lessons learned into 2013 and make it your best season ever.