AST Athlete Journal: Eva Vogel
Hello Friends! I hope that you have all been staying warm on the slopes during this past week! WOW it has been cold!
While the hills were closed for training, the AST kept warm by hitting the gym and focusing on maintaining our fitness levels. Following a long block of travel and racing in the USA, we have all enjoyed returning home and getting back into the gym at CSI as keeping fit is crucial to performing our best!!
Personally, the start of the season has been a bit of a challenge for me. I have been struggling to perform at my best on race day. As I’m sure many of you know, it’s mostly a mental game on race day. Everyone has trained, everyone is strong, and everyone is fast. So what sets the top athletes apart from the rest? Mental training and confidence in their abilities!
I feel that it is important to acknowledge and talk about the struggles that athletes face because throughout our journey we will often encounter more challenges then successes and that is ok! It is part of our journey!
As I try to reflect on working through this mental block of race day performance, it has been crucial for me to look inwards in order to understand where the self doubts and performance anxiety is coming from. Through working with a sports psychologist and mental performance coach, I have learned that often your mind will try to tell you things that are not true when your body is in a high stress state. This comes from our “fight or flight” response. In order to combat these negative and false thoughts, I am working on recalling specific proof of my successes. For example, if I am feeling nervous about racing a challenging hill, I will focus my thoughts on reminding myself that on a steep icy pitch, I ski my best when I focus on initiating my turn much above the gate and being aggressive.
When I am experiencing challenging times, whether it be on race day or even in training, it is important to remind myself that focusing on only the results will actually hold me back! When we focus too much about our results, it adds unnecessary pressure and blocks our mind from the things we need to focus on to achieve the results we desire. Instead, I am trying to focus on one or two technical aspects that I know will produce my best skiing. Focusing on what I can control in my own skiing allows me to feel relaxed and more confident in my race plan. It is proven that the results come when you are focused, relaxed and confident!
While everyone wants to perform at their peak, at every race, it is important to remind ourselves that this is not always going to be the case! In fact, I have grown and learned the most during my most challenging times not only in my ski career but also in life! If any athlete out there who is presently stuck in a bit of a rut and reading this, I hope that you learn that you are not alone and that your feelings are totally normal! Always remember that if you love a sport … it is a journey … that should be a fun ride! We all go through struggles to get to where we want to be! And If you want to achieve your goals, you will keep pushing, believe and not give up on yourself!
Well the team is now off to Panorama and Kimberley for another block of racing and I am really looking forward to this opportunity to continue improving my mental game! Onwards and upwards for the rest of the season! Also a HUGE shoutout to Gered who is representing Canada at World Juniors in France! We are cheering you on!!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my coaches, teammates and Alberta Alpine for providing such a supportive environment. While going through this rough patch it has been so important for me to know that I have the support of my teammates, coaches and family all cheer me on!! Thanks guys you rock
I also want to thank our sponsors GMC Canada, Karbon Sports and Sporting Life who make it possible for us to continue doing the sport we love no matter what! And a big shout out to our newest sponsor GenStar! So excited to have you guys on board! Let’s go Team Alberta!!
Finally if this Athlete Journal resonates with you please DM me on instagram! I would love to chat! @evavogell