It's the end of the season. You walk into your garage. Your running shoes haven't moved in two weeks. Your goggles look exceptionally dry. You can't even look at your tri bike that's slowly gathering dust on its rack.
Ever have that feeling? If the answer is "yes," you're not alone.
We spoke with Peter Haberl, senior sports psychologist for the U.S. Olympic Committee to get tips on how to beat the blues, and ever more importantly, how to avoid in the first place. He gave us four recommended ways to work you way out of them:
1) Create an off-season for yourself: It really matters that you make an offseason. You need to recharge your emotional batteries and rediscover the joy in the sport.
2) Take a real vacation: The travel itinerary should not include any activity that requires you to pin a number to your shirt. Stay up late. Sleep in. Eat what you want. Lie next to the pool and get some sun.
3) Do some different sports: If you live in a winter climate, take up cross-country skiing on the weekends. If you live in a warmer environment, try mountain biking or hiking.
4) Revisit what's important to you: Re-examine your core values and what's most important about doing the sport. By reflecting on your personal motivation, you can trump other negative emotions that hurt performance.
To avoid the post-season blues next year, Haberl strongly recommends starting next year in a different way. At the beginning of the new season,set realistic goals. These goals should be more process-oriented than outcome-oriented.
Outcome-oriented goals focus on results outside your control--such as being first out of the water at your "A" race. These types of goals risk creating a feeling of failure.
Process-oriented goals focus on how you performed--such as the form you kept during the run--not your absolute time or place at the event. With these type of objectives, you will have the greatest chance of a successful 2011 season and remaining a happy participant in the sport you love.
For the full article, go to: http://www.active.com/triathlon/Articles/4-Ways-to-Combat-Offseason-Blues.htm. Share your thoughts on setting positive, achievable goals via email or by adding a comment here.