The Ride of a Lifetime: Consultations Across the Sport of Cycling

Kristen Dieffenbach, West Virginia University, USA
Carrie Cheadle, Private Consulting Practice, USA

Theme: Mental training/interventions

Program ID: SYM-28

Presentation: October 5, 2013 2:45 pm - 3:45 pm

Room: Oak Alley


Cycling has a rich history dating back to the turn of the last century when the bicycles provided a means of transportation and recreation, as well as being a vehicle for social change (Herlihy, 2004). Competitive opportunities also quickly emerged in cycling, with one of earliest and largest being track racing in venues such as Madison Square Garden. While no longer dominating such venues, modern bicycle racing has grown and expanded to include a variety of events, providing a wide range of personal challenges and competitive opportunities across many disciplines for participants worldwide. The Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body, reports while there are only 1200 professional cyclists, there are over 600,000 licensed racers and millions of enthusiasts (UCI, 2013). Riders of all levels and abilities participate in and find personal enrichment in events such as multi day cross state tours, 100 mile plus charity rides, BMX youth racing, 24 hour team mountain bike team events and of course the elite Tour de France. Cycling not only appeals to young riders, but as a lifetime pursuit it attracts older athletes as they transition from other sports and seek out new challenges. Sport psychology’s interest in cycling has also grown since Tripplet’s (1898) examination of the effect social facilitation theory among racing cyclists. This symposium will examine the unique culture and challenges associated with different disciplines and at different levels of cycling through the experiences of three sport psychology consultants working in different areas of the sport. Three SPCs will discuss their theoretical frameworks, consultation strategies, experiences and tool box ideas for working with different disciplines and populations in competitive cycling.

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