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Monday, 28 July 2008

Squad Email

hey as acting squad cc, thought I better keep in touch. Has been awesome keeping an eye on you dudes over at the World Cup and JWOC in the last month or so. Its great to have you over there representing us all. I wrote this next bit a while ago,

"Lots going on recently. Ross and Bryn representing in Europe, great effort guys, and a real succesfull QB weekend final of the superseries, some great races, particularly that night sprint thanks to Carsten and Tessa and some interesting results. I am blown away by the talent that there is coming through at the moment, Lizzie, Tom and Scott to name a few that just get better and better. Keep it up people with hard training and cunning thoughts theres no shortage of people in our squads who could beat the best in the world.

A few psychological things I've been talking with people about recently:

I went for a run with Carsten the other day and we were discussing the attitutude necessary for success at WOC. We both agreed that an important approach was not to think of "peaking" at WOC at least not in a navigational sense. In WOC (or JWOC) you should be trying to cut out your normal performance not some mysterious super performance that people seem to dream of. This normal performance is the level that you perform at regularly during the super series and of course the key is doing all you can to make your normal performances as bloody brilliant as possible.

Perfect practice makes perfect. I remember reading about Nouredine Morcelli (a great runner a few years back) and how he cried when his training sessions didn't go well...it was so important to his performance to meet his goals in training. This is even more important in orienteering where habits and decision making are so important. Perfect decision making creates perfect decision making by encouraging the right pathways in the brain. Crappy decision making perpetuates crappy decision making. Don't ever forget this, there is a fine line between learning from your mistakes and continually suffering from them.

On this point. At the D Squad camp at Naseby a few weekends back I was thinking about the problem of how to coach "danger signals" into those speed demons that haven't yet mastered speed control. I experimented with running along behind someone, just stating one word "danger" whenever I thought there was a navigational issue that needed to be dealt with, they then had to explain what the issue was and how they were dealing with it. A variation on the old verbalisation exercise but focussed on specific decision making moments that you can think about, have a go with and adapt.

The "Zone". This damn mysterious zone thing, its a curse. As discussed with Tom recently...if you starting thinking "wow, I'm in the zone" during a race alarm bells should ring. Any zone that there may be can only ever be conceptualised in retrospect otherwise you're thinking about the wrong stuff.

Whats next: well heaps of you have wicked missions planned world cups/champs/university games....awesome!!! Go hard!

The others staying at home, well I'm still real keen to try and make the Squads Camp happen, maybe in Vegas around the weekend of the tough guy, which is 19/20 August see http://www.toughguyandgal.co.nz/ anyone interested in coordinating this get in touch with the Carsten.

Oh and I noticed some photos from the qb party at Ambers facebook page http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=579723174#/album.php?aid=27948&id=579723174&ref=mf Thanks to those that made an effort, great to do something at orienteering that didn't involve talking about sport, or shit talking or training or orienteering....gotta keep your mind open to different influences you never know it might somehow give you a competitive edge."

And yeah still looking for someone to organise a bit of a get together, physical training weekend in the north island when everyones back, if this persons you get in touch with me or Carsten.

And one other thing I was thinking of the other day is the need to have a real good plan or at least strategy for making the most of the post JWOC/WOC/big trip training time. Its way too easy to let a little rest turn into a big one, a few ideas to get you thinking

- have a recovery period training programme good to go before its needed - change tack a little bit, try and achieve something in one of your cross training sports, whether thats mtbing or whatever - keep that core strength through gym work or whatever it makes it much more pleasant getting back into training again. Awesome.

and by the way I can still run, started a race we stumbled upon in Singapore this evening and felt strong and sweaty. Looking forward to racing youse all again soon.

Take care

Jamie

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