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  • Writer's pictureJack Mullaney

Sir Chris Hoy Owns The Process

As an 11-time World Champion and 6-time Olympic Champion in track cycling, Sir Chris Hoy knows a thing or two about winning. But it may surprise you to learn that winning wasn't something that was on his mind going into a race.

"That was the absolute last thing I thought about," Hoy said in a podcast interview, "I didn't want to think about the gold medal, or what it'd be like to win it. I was trying to focus on the process of what I needed to do to be the best I could be to get the best result."

He continued.

"The end result depends on a whole host of things are out [of] your control. You don't know how fast your rivals are going to go. They could be absolutely flying, they could be better than you on that day, or you could produce a sub-standard performance and still win, because they're not [competing] that well at that point."

Then, he summed it up perfectly:

"Don't worry about what anyone else is doing. Don't worry about the end result, good or bad. Focus on yourself. Focus on your process, and what you need to do."

Given how overused "the process" has become in coaching rhetoric, it may sound trite to reiterate. But while I think many talk about "the process", far fewer actually embrace a process-based mindset in a race.

Instead, many athletes fall into the trap of thinking way too much about the two things Hoy says are not worthy of their mental energy:

  1. The competition

  2. The end result, good or bad

The irony is, if you tune into any commentary - podcasts, rankings, articles, or projections - on our sport, that's all anyone wants to talk about: who's racing, and who will win.

While that may be enjoyable for a fan, I feel it can be disruptive for athletes. Sure, there's merit in understanding the level of competition, and knowing what sort of race could play out.

But after that, it just comes down to who can perform on the day. Not what anyone's PR's are. Not where anyone is ranked. Not what a win or a loss will mean for the athlete or team.

It's about who can "focus on the process" of what's needed to do the best they can.

And when they cross the finish line, we'll see what that gets them.

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