IT STARTED WITH A TEXT FROM MY FRIEND PAUL:
Chris is going to be in town, wanna do something?
Yes, let me call Brian… we’ll have some fun.
Paul works as a cycling coach for Chris Carmichael’s company CTS, and Brian runs The SoCal Cycling Podcast. Me, I’m just a guy.
We started the night with savory dishes from Guicho’s and sharing bike racing stories.
Ours were amateur, and Chris’s were pro.
Ours were current and small, his were old and epic.
They were the kind of stories only someone who had been there could tell. Captivating. About always being hungry to be skinny, about travel, about nobody talking to the new kids… the Americans.
But, the most interesting part was talking about what it takes to be a champion. That champions are all about themselves. Their whole lives revolve around them, and are set up to server their single purpose. To win.
After dinner, we moved downstairs for the podcast. More friends joined us for this portion.
Brian busted out his fancy equipment and started with a this:
What makes your coaching company different from all the others?
What followed was nugget upon nugget of Chris’s philosophy. In order, to the best of my recollection:
A coach can inspire an athlete as well as be inspired by an athlete.
A monkey can interpret the data, a coach coaches.
Where there’s a wheel there’s a way.
A great coach can make something complex simple, understandable.
Winners are calm when they are in the lead, losers are nervous.
A lot of the science we developed for Project ’96 (Olympic games) is still used by USA Cycling… like train low, rest high. We had a chamber where we have the athletes do intervals in an super-oxygen environment at -300 sea level where they could produce much more power than sea level. They they’d rest in a simulated altitude of 10,000′.
You’re not a coach if you don’t coach. Our coaches are all coaching 20-30 athletes, and we are all learning from that all the time.
When you have good legs, you have a good head. When you have a good head, you have good legs.
The data doesn’t matter on race day. On race day it’s about racing… what are you going to do? Quit or win? Winners, win.
The best athletes are killers, it doesn’t matter how they feel, what the local food is like, how they slept. They are there to win on that day.
On race day, never think I’ll be back or I’m just here to learn. You don’t know if you’ll be back. Make it happen today. You’ll learn more by putting it all on the line. There is no tomorrow, there is no other race… only this one.
Brian then turned the mic to the audience and Chris fielded a variety of questions… fun for everyone.