BMX riders using their heads to win
At the recent UCI BMX World Championships held in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa’s top BMX riders took on the might of riders from 32 other nations, all looking to win the title of World Champion in their respective classes. Team Jeep BMX had riders representing the local outfit and they put in a very impressive performance.
Three of the team members have been working extremely hard over the past 18 months, not only getting themselves physically fit and prepared, but also mentally prepared.
Sharlene McGilvray, who hails from Howick, has been working together with local trainer and cycling coach, Aamon Mahon, who has been ensuring Sharlene, is in top physical form.
Liam and Axel have been under the guidance of top Dutch coach, Jorg De Louw, ensuring they get their technical abilities up to world standards, while local personal trainer, Justin Clarke has ensured that their ply metric abilities are ready for the big day.
However, all three riders have one thing in common, in that they all prepare mentally with the extremely dedicated and talented sports psychologist and hypnotherapist, Andrea Kellermann. All three riders agree that without the assistance of hypnotherapy, they would not have been able to achieve their goals.
Liam Webster may not have fully achieved his dream of getting a world number and finishing in the top eight in his class, but after having good qualifying motos and progressing to the sudden death stages, where he was lying in a good position before crashing and with that not progressing, he still believes that he could have done it and is already preparing for next year’s event which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Younger brother, Axel, managed to breeze through his qualifiers undefeated to face up to the top in his sudden death semi-final, where he again focussed and crossed the line ahead of the pack to confirm his slot in the final 8. After a fall in the 2009 world championship final race, he was carrying the burden of the W8 plate on his bike and he a point to prove in 2010 and not get the last of the best spot again. All the months of mental preparation kicked in as he lined up on the starting gate for what was the most important race of his career thus far. After crossing the line he turned to his father and said, “I can’t believe it, my mind took over and I’m number 2 in the world”. Axel firmly believes that his hours of hypnotherapy taught him to focus and brought him silver in biggest race of the year.
Sharlene knows what it like to be number 2, as she had earned the title in 2009 in Australia, and this year her goal was to get the number 1 spot. She wanted to top the world. Her first race of the 2010 UCI BMX World Championship seemed to fall apart after she tangled with a French rider and came down bending her front wheel beyond repair. Sharlene however, didn’t let it trouble her and with a borrowed wheel, put the incident out of her mind and made it through to the final 8. “With the help of Andrea, I knew the number 1 was mine. She helped me focus and believe that I was the best. There was no way anyone was going to take that title away from me”, state Sharlene.
Sports psychology and hypnotherapy are not new for top international athletes, and it has proved that even the young stars of today can benefit from the help of professionals like Andrea.
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I cannot begin to tell you how much the hypnotherapy helped me win World #1 in the 45 Ladies Cruiser Class at the 2010 UCI World BMX Championship in Pietermaritzburg in front of my home crowd! All the years of BMX racing (this is my 12th year) I have been pulling brakes at the first jump – no matter how big or small which has ALWAYS set me back. I would get the holeshot (first out the gate) then brake and loose that advantage and have to play catch up. I would ALWAYS brake if someone was next to or in front of me and would never pass a rider for fear of being taken out – I had a terrible crash in 2004 when a rider took me out as I was overtaking him and after that my confidence always held me back.
That all changed when I met you, and after only 3 sessions not only do I not brake, I’m a much more aggressive rider in that I back off for NO ONE, will pass WHOEVER is in my way and my mind set and confidence is soooooooooooooo positive. I put my sessions on my MP3 player and fall asleep plugged into my earphones every night listening to you. I will most definitely be back and will tell EVERYONE I know about how amazing hypnotherapy is. I know that it was hard work and training that got my body around the track, but without my positive mind set it would never have happened. My qualifying motos were not easy – my first one the French rider crashed into me taking me down with her bruising my leg badly and buckling my front rim – had to borrow Teagan’s Cruiser wheel coz mine couldn’t be fixed. My second qualifier I think I was knitting a jersey coz I came 4th, so my third qualifier I had to come 1st or 2nd to get through to the final.
Coming down the second straight in my third qualifier Leisbeth was 1st , the French woman 2nd and me 3rd but coming into the second berm I overtook the French woman and she deliberately T-boned me but I hung on determined NOT to go down and managed to stay on my bike (she crashed) and I took 2nd. I had made it through to the final!!!!!
On the Saturday night before my Sunday race I saved a draft message on my cell phone to send out when I crossed the finish line and it read: I’m the fastest old bat in the World on a BMX xxxx – and that’s exactly what I sent to everyone. My mind, body and soul was so in tune as to what I wanted to do and I DID IT – thanks to you xxxx
My blog: http://sharlenemcgilvray.blogspot.com
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