Old Approach

The ambition of every newbie pro triathlete, including me, was to race the best in the world at the best races in the world -> Race at the World Championships (Done)

For the last two years this has been my approach to being a professional triathlete, and I mistakenly thought that in itself was a means to an end. Well, I guess if I want to end my career early then it is true, for it is a fast track to bankruptcy and no more. There simply is not enough money in the sport to support a a professional athlete population greater than 10.

A few days ago I reached the lofty age of 25. Most people tell me that I am still young and I have plenty of time in the sport, but I already feel the pressure. If you take the traditional view (which is getting turned on it's head) then I have 5 years before I reach my peak, but the problem is, what do I do until then? Continue spending literally thousands of pounds on races that do not pay and feed only my ego? No. It's time for a fresh approach...

Fresh Approach

Time to ditch the ego component and adopt a truly professional approach. To do this I am largely going to be following the advice of someone who has actually been there and done it, Chuckie V, who wrote a surivial guide for young pro triathletes which is posted below;

Lifestyle

(1) Consider the sport a hobby until you can generate enough income through it, but treat your hobby dead serious.
    I think I am too serious to call it a hobby?!
(2) Generate enough income somehow, whether through mooching, coaching, or by---God forbid---getting a real job!!
    Coaching is coming very soon, and I have a bit of a real job ??
(3) Solicit financial assistance, whether through sponsorship, mom and dad or your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend
    Anyone looking for athletes to sponsor? Thank you mum & dad. Girlfriend??
(4) Keep your expenses low. Live in your car. No car? Live in a friend's car! And eat in.
    This one's easy - no car, too expensive ;-)
   
Racing

(5) Enter only the races that pay. Stop cherry-picking at events that feed only your ego. See (11) below.
    That's the 2010 plan
(6) Race competitively. Don't participate when you're not going to be competitive.
    This mistake defines 2009
(7) Aim to gain experience, despite the two aforementioned recommendations.
    I'll do what I can
(8) Bond with other pro triathletes and create a union. Or continue fighting for scraps.
    Better people than I have tried and sadly failed. Though I definitely believe the pros desperately need a voice...!

Training

(9) Train wisely. See (10) below. Improve your weaknesses, whether they're in the sport, the wallet or in your head.
    Hopefully I will address the weakness in my head which is leading to the weakness in my wallet
(10) Hire a competent coach, or, better yet, a SET of competent advisers.
    I think (2) is going to have to come about first, unless Teambath want to come out and play??

Ego

(11) Drop the ego. Our numbers, while growing, are insignificant…just like you. Bite your tongue 'til it bleeds; pry open your ears 'til they bleed.
    Turns out I'm not very good at the biting my tongue....and am reluctant to apologise for this.
(12) Ask questions and read all you can. Be a student of the sport. Respect your elders. Reread (11)
    Will read more
(13) Understand not just your physiological responses to training & your psychological responses as well. See (10)&(11)
    Always working in this
(14) The choice to be an "elite" is yours and yours only. It is a CHOICE. If you feel entitled to anything just because you are a pro, you are anything but pro. Read (15)
    I already know this one and will never lose sight of it.

Me and My Competition

(15) Don't do this half-ass or your results will be half chance. Do everything full ass. The clock is unforgiving, as is your competition. And thus you should be.
    I can be more full ass for sure.
(16) Give it time. Stay the course.
    How much time is enough time?
(17) Learn to love to kick ass. Love learning to kick ass.
    This is going on my wall...
(18) Know that somewhere out there somebody is out-working you: now, then and then again.
    So is this one...


The underlying foundations of 2010 are now in place...
 

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