At the foundation level of cycling it is important to begin making a conscious effort to develop personal and interpersonal attributes of performance, all of which are vital to future success in sport, studies, careers and life. By taking the time to develop these attributes now, you are giving yourself the best chance at finding success, no matter where you focus your efforts.
Enjoyment is the cornerstone of long term participation and as a foundation level cyclist, it is important to find and retain this enjoyment and passion for the sport. Doing something out of love and enjoyment rather than obligation will ensure you develop a strong work ethic that supports quality performance.
As a new rider it is exciting to see and feel yourself improving, developing competence or getting better and is certainly a contributing factor to having fun while riding. Focusing on learning the skills and attributes of cycling will see you on the path to improvement and mastery which is an important aspect to developing courage and confidence in the sport.
Confidence is another pillar that supports long term engagement in sport and will come as you develop and improve your skills. At this level it is important that coaches and parents are ensuring that you grow in confidence through reinforcing the process of improvement.
Cycling is a unique sport with a dynamic blend of individual and team engagement. The ability to connect with others and contribute to the culture of the team will make the experience more fun and engaging for everyone.
Autonomy is also an important attribute to begin developing at the foundation level of cycling. The sense of ownership over an experience or goals will drive to you to continue riding and improving your skills. This will equip you with a higher level of independence which is important in high performing athletes.
As an athlete with high performance aspirations, grit, resilience, integrity, empathy and respect are all characteristic traits that will not only drive you to reach those higher levels but will also factor into selection processes across all aspects of your life. It may feel like harsh criticism at times but know that it is all in an effort to build you into a strong, confident athlete.
We know that when people with developing or little experience go through the process of making decisions, they do not always get it right. With that in mind it is important that you, as a foundation rider, have the opportunity to make and reflect on decisions living with the consequences whether they are positive or negative.
Receiving feedback and reviews of these decisions from coaches and parents with support to progress will lead to higher levels of decision making.