During the Le Tour de France and other grand tours there is a lot of discussion about what is commonly known as “the race of truth” or the tactics that rides use to give them the winning edge.

Here are the top 20 key actions professional athletes take to help them succeed, demonstrating the fine line between art and science;

  1. The only way you can get an edge is by finding something other people don’t know about or commonly available.
  2. Over the last 20 years being successful has become a science.
    1. Power meters and heart rate monitors were rare now they are common, as a result there is now a greater understanding of speed vs heart rate and impact of both.
    2. Understanding peaks and troughs in exerting physical energy, when to apply power and longer term impact on results.
    3. Watts were not commonly focused on, now are a key tool to monitoring and measuring performance and output.
    4. 20 years ago diet and nutrition was basic, now a key part of a successful strategy.
    5. Wheel size, type, tyres and tyre pressure now make up part of the mechanical strategy.
    6. The support team and athlete are focused as a collective looking carefully at the data to drive results, test and validating any changes made translate to improved outcomes.
  3. They think of the tools available to them laid out on a table as an arsenal of weapons to use for different environments.
  4. There’s a lot of head banging and often very little glory.
  5. It’s hard work and often mundane.
  6. They tend to overthink a lot.
  7. They recon the course many times, rehearsing the race day.
  8. Each rider is a different body type and make up, one size or technique does not work for all.
  9. You have to practice different things to find what works, trial and error
  10. Every course is different Flat, TT, Mountain climbs, each requiring a different strategy and equipment.
  11. They play to their strengths
  12. The work as and within a team
  13. They don’t panic when it gets hard they stay focused on the end goal. 
  14. They are not self obsessed, they project to other people, which allows them to focus on their strengths and handle the stress.
  15. Visualization is a key tool they possess, it’s not just going from A to B, it’s about maximising the skills they have to deliver the end result.
  16. They train and do the distance.
  17. They specialize. Time Trialist, Climbers, Domestique, they know and play to their strengths. They know they must finish the event and the key role they play in their team.
  18. It’s about preparation.
  19. They hunt for the edge, doing something innovative and better, than the competition.
  20. Everyone on the team, including the mechanics and nutritionists play a key role in an individual’s success.

How does this translate to the art and science of marketing

The biggest reason for repeat failures in any sport or business are:

  1. Failing to Mind Map the desired outcome and recon the route.
  2. Failing to find something you are not doing and taking the appropriate action to fix it.
  3. Not analyzing your techniques and making relevant changes that deliver a different result than last time.
  4. Failing to build a bigger arsenal of tools to deploy for different occasions. 
  5. Failing to transplant your vision into reality, coupled with no analysis on your companies weak points to facilitate action and growth.
  6. Trying to take shortcuts that result in catastrophic failures that ruin careers and reputations.
  7. Failure to change equipment, not upgrading to the latest advances cost time, money and effort, and ultimately contributes to falling short of desired outcomes.

If you don’t focus on roadblocks stopping you to achieve your goals, then you cannot improve.

Just like professional athletes, you need to understand your strengths and play to them. Athletes don’t strive for individual glory, they know that the team will will bring them success.

While you may be capable of succeeding alone you have a greater chance of success when you build the right team around you. A team that helps you communicate your message loud and clear, providing you with the tools to be able to stand tall and deliver with confidence.

Bye for now.

Lee Featherby (@mrpresentations)