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Inline secrets from the world's top skaters and coaches

This week's tip:

Six Keys to Success
How to have your best inline racing season ever

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By Miguel Jose
June 19, 2009

Skaters lining up for race

On the starting line of the Texas Road Rash
Photo: Debbie Rice


Want to have your best racing season ever? Follow these six secrets to success:

1) Set goals

In order to get somewhere, you've got to know where you want to go. So set goals for yourself. Goals keep you motivated and give you a way to measure your success.

Goals can take various forms: a time you want to beat, a placement you hope to attain, or simply a feeling of accomplishment.

Set long-term goals first. Then work backwards.

Let's say your goal for the season — your long-term goal — is to finish the NorthShore Inline Marathon in under an hour and a half. In that case, set a short-term goal of 1:50 in your first marathon of the season. Then set a mid-term goal of finishing your second marathon in 1:40.

Don't be surprised if you reach your goals sooner than expected. That often happens. When it does, readjust your goals.

But don't be unrealistic. Make sure your goals are within the realm of possibility. Otherwise, you'll be setting yourself up for failure. Realistic goals are inspiring. Unrealistic goals are discouraging — and could cause you to give up.

2) Believe

The one thing you can control in this world are your thoughts. So don't fill your head with negative thinking. Instead, pump yourself up with positive thoughts. You are 100 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you believe in yourself.

3) Visualize

Visualize your intended outcome. Not just once, but every single day. In this way, you will actually feel the emotions of the outcome you desire. And don't stop there — also imagine the reactions of your family and friends.

4) Have a plan

Don't leave success to chance. Plan out your race. Long before your event, decide what you will do at every point in your race. And also plan for unforeseen circumstances, like a fall or getting dropped by the peloton. Once your race starts, do your best to stick with your plan.

5) Ritualize

Develop a ritual to perform before races. I'm not talking about anything involving voodoo dolls. Just something that will give you confidence and put you in the right state of mind for racing.

I do the same thing before all my races. First I shake my legs out. Then when the starter says, "To your marks," I wipe my hands on my uniform. Finally, I raise my head up and wait for the start.

Pre-race rituals are also a good way to defeat nerves.

6) Have fun

Don’t get too serious. Inline racing should be fun. And when it is, you'll be inspired to train more and do better.

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Miguel JoseMiguel Jose started speed skating when he was six in Seattle, WA. "Back then we raced on quad skates," he says. "I was very mediocre on quads — dead last at JO Nationals. But in the 1991-92 season, inline skates were introduced and — wow! — did that change things. I went from being the worst kid on quads to being a national champion in one year." Miguel went on to win three national championships before hanging up his skates in 2004 to focus on his career as a mortgage broker. "I went about three years of not skating before I had to put my skates back on. Now I skate to get away from work, stay in shape, and enjoy my friends. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy competing at the pro level, but that is not what keeps me in the sport." Miguel is a member of the Luigino Racing team and the Pattison's West indoor club in Federal Way, WA.

Luigino Racing




Related reading:

Skate Tip of the Week Archive
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating




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