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Blog: Blog2
  • Writer's pictureCoach Em

Your desired result begins … with your mantra.

Last year, I spent time coaching a group of young boys and girls on a mountain bike team here in western Montana. My kids blew me away with their fitness and determination (and speed!)

One morning, I watched them as they hung around the start line. Many of them were fussing with their clothes or equipment. Some of them chatted a bit to one another. I realized that many of them seemed a bit nervous. The course was a new one, with some challenging and technical terrain. Suddenly, I realized that this was an opportunity to help them work with their minds, incorporate some intention into the race, and provide them with a tool to help them succeed.

First, I got their attention. Keeping it simple, I asked them to come up with three meaningful words they could say to themselves, over and over, when things got tough. We exchanged ideas:

  • I am tough.

  • I am strong.

  • I am capable.

  • I can do it.

  • I can do hard things. (OK, 4 or 5 words is ok too :)

Once each girl had come up with her particular “mantra,” I tried to bring it home. “This is YOUR secret sauce,” I told them. “Say these words to yourself whenever the going gets tough, when your legs are friend, or when you’re exhausted. Tap into the power of the mantra and stay focused.”

My girls loved the exercise. After the race, they clamored around me and shared their experiences of using the mantra on a particularly challenging downhill or when they had wanted to give up.

I encourage YOU to develop your own mantra. No matter what your goal– if you’re looking to build more healthy habits, or if you’re prepping for a race or adventure – develop a simple, 3-5 word mantra that you can repeat to yourself, over and over, especially when the going gets hard. This will help you stay focused on your target, stay compassionate to yourself, and build new synapses in the mind for you to rely on for strength when you most need it.

What’s your mantra?


Coach Em



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