I have very deliberately nicked the title from Sir Clive Woodward’s book as the first word of title of this post. Basically his book is the story of his life in rugby up to the point where his England side win the 2003 Rugby World Cup. As a rugby fanatic it was one of the greatest days of my life, the celebrations went on all day and into the night. It was handy the game was played in Australia as it meant more time partying for us Poms!
His book is so much more than a rugby story though. It goes into some length the detail and planning it took to get his squad into the final, in a position to win it with his best 15 starting the game. It is fair to say he left no stone unturned in the pursuit of this goal. Indeed he was known as the mad professor by his players for some of the things he’d try in a bid to succeed. some worked some didn’t along the way.
It is also fair to say that most top sides now use his blueprint to some extent or another in their preparations. I’m sure my Celtic cousins or my relations from the Southern Hemisphere might disagree though! God forbid the English ever had a good idea!
If you’ve read this far you’re probably getting bored and starting to think “what has all this got to do with weight loss cycling?”
The connection is that Sir Clive Woodward had a plan every time he did anything and every time his players took the field. We have plans too, indeed every blog I’ve read since Christmas has been replete with plans as to how the person is going to succeed or to win their own battle.
It’s easy to win at the moment for us, the year is new, we’re all pretty much into the early stages of our “new plan” and we’re cruising. It’s all good. Sir Clive Woodward identified this too. He also identified that games were won and lost when the pressure came on. He had a few mantras that he’d use with his squad, one of them was “controlling the controllables.”
I suppose the weight loss equivalent is “doing what you can, what you know to be right” and letting the scales take care of themselves. This is an ideal saying for static weight weeks. Which we’ve all had.
His other mantra and one that is so apt for us is “TCUP” this translates as
THINKING CLEARLY UNDER PRESSURE.
I’m betting now we’re all thinking about that bad day at work or at home when the take away is calling, or that trip to the pub beckons, or the party buffet looks fantastic and your will starts to weaken.
This is when the pressure comes and the game is won or lost and we need to TCUP!
His squad had any number of stratagies they’d use when the pressure was on to make it easy for themselves, so they didn’t panic and do the wrong thing.
The final move in the game where they set up that famous drop goal for Jonny Wilkinson was automatic, it was a play called “zig zag” and they all knew exactly what to do in the most pressurised of environments for their sport. The last 3 minutes of extra time of a rugby world cup final. It doesn’t get any more pressurised than that for a rugby player. The move ran on rails and even Matt Dawson and Martin Johnson were that in the zone they even were thinking clearly enough for a bit of improvisation to make things better for their team.
Can we do the weight loss equivalent of that? We need to think clearly under pressure. We need a zigzag.
When is your most pressurised moment when you head to the fridge or the take away menu knowing that you’re about to do the wrong thing and can’t stop yourself? What strategy do you have in place to stop yourself? What is your “zigzag” plan?
Gentle reader, this is the moment we win or lose. Not when we’re sat smugly eating healthily, or having returned from a really good pedal or even blogging truimphantly about how great we are with our current plan and eating habits. No, we win when everything is going to rat shit and we can’t be arsed to do the right thing. That is the defining moment for us and that is when we need a zigzag.
This is what Winning! Looks like…