Friday, July 22, 2005 - Coaching
Training for Long Term Success

- By: Jack Sasseville

At the club level I see many young skiers who have the talent to become successful xc ski racers. They have great results at a young age and seem destined to become future National Team and international skiers. Unfortunately, many of them never achieve this success.

For some the reason is a lack of physical talent. For others, it is the mental skills that hold them back. For many, though, it is a lack of patience that keeps them from reaching the top.

Becoming a successful xc skier is not a sprint, but a marathon. It takes time and patience and years of consistent good training to reach your full potential. There are no secret training formulas that will fast track a skier to the top of the international result list.

Sara Renner is a perfect example of this. Sara was not at the top internationally as a junior or a young senior racer in the early 1990's. At the 1998 Olympics in Nagano she finished closer to the bottom of the results list than to the top.

Now, in 2005, she is a World Championship medallist and one of the best skiers in the world. Does she have any more talent than she had in those early days? Has she somehow gotten more ability or potential than she had then? I don't think so. What Sara has done, to her credit, is had the patience to give herself the time to make the most of her ability. She has also done the work and the training to develop her skills abilities much further than others.

This dedication and patience is what makes people successful in all walks of life, not just xc skiing or sport. The best businessmen, artists, musicians, students and people working in any job are the ones who have spent years working their way to the top. The rock band that is an overnight sensation with a hit song most likely spent years and years playing in smoky bars and garages before they hit it big.

So, keep at it. Train smartly and train hard, recover as much as you can. With patience you can be successful.

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