Video: Kate Courtney Battles The Mental Struggles of World Cup Racing

Oct 9, 2019 at 4:18
by SCOTT Sports  

bigquotesMental recovery is huge. It’s not just the body that needs to recharge but the mind as well. With so many weeks on the road and, of course the pressure, that can be the most important factor.Kate Courtney, 2019 World Cup Champion



THE MENTAL GAME

Kate Courtney charged into the 2019 season wearing the rainbow jersey winning three back-to-back World Cups. It was clear she was ready to go all out but the winning streak didn’t hold out. She had to dig deep and keep the end goal in mind for the World Cup overall. Like any champion knows, it’s not getting knocked down that matters, it’s getting back up and fighting on. In the final 2019 episode of “Rising” with Kate Courtney, we dive into the mental game of elite mountain bike racing.


During the 2019 UCI MTB World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne Canada.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne Canada.


THE PRESSURE

Coming into the season wearing the rainbow jersey meant all eyes were on Kate for 2019. Kicking it off with three World Cup wins added to the attention. In only her second year of Elite, the world was curious what this rising star could accomplish. But expectations and pressure can weigh heavily on a young athlete. This demanded a new level of mental strength from Kate.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Championships at Mont-Sainte-Anne Canada.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup finals Snowshoe West Virginia USA.

THE PROCESS

Sustaining yourself as an athlete takes discipline. It’s a fine balance between knowing when to go all-in or when to simply take a break-a skill that certainly isn’t natural for an athlete that achieves their level by being unusually good at pushing themselves when everyone else has long gone home. That being said, all athletes at any level will face highs and lows that they simply can’t train for. Experience is the only teacher.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup finals Snowshoe West Virginia USA.



THE LEARNING

After an intense training camp mid-summer, Kate came out exhausted and her results reflected that. She had to take a step back and remember why she was here in the first place: because #funisfast and #fastisfun, as the team says. She had to take the season in stride and focus on the bigger picture. It was a learning process where some days, just keeping a smile on her face at the end of the race was the main goal.

bigquotesSometimes you just need a break and I think that’s something that’s totally fair to give yourself and to need, and it actually makes me a lot stronger. I think mental recovery is huge. It’s not just the body that needs to recharge but the mind as well.Kate Courtney, 2019 World Cup Champion

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup finals Snowshoe West Virginia USA.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup finals Snowshoe West Virginia USA.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup finals Snowshoe West Virginia USA.


LOOKING AHEAD

The 2019 season for Kate was a rollercoaster of highs and lows but the overarching goal never left her sight: World Cup Champion- an incredible feat for the 23-year-old racer in only her second year of elite racing. With a long list of learnings, she can head into the offseason and towards the 2020 season and the Tokyo Olympics with heightened confidence to overcome whatever she may face.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup finals Snowshoe West Virginia USA.

During the 2019 UCI MTB World Cup finals Snowshoe West Virginia USA.


1 Courtney Kate Scott-SRAM USA

Learn more and read a Q & A with Kate Courtney about the season here.

Video: Rained Upon Media
Photos: Sven Martin, Rained Upon Media


59 Comments

  • 21 0
 We all have our ups and downs whoever we are. The most important thing is to do something about, be the captain of your ship! Oh and eat cake, I love cake.....
  • 4 8
flag pinnityafairy (Oct 10, 2019 at 11:26) (Below Threshold)
 No such thing as excuses or problems only challenges and solutions. Seems a lot of people in the world forget this. Life is nothing but a game. If you are not satisfied with your results maybe you're not playing it right.
  • 3 3
 @pinnityafairy: life is a journey...and it’s amazing what we can achieve if we put our minds and motivation into it....
  • 9 0
 yeah man, eat the cake
  • 2 0
 @klerric: so what's the difference? Do you make problems and excuses on your journey? I see Life as challenges and solutions. Get excited about life I am. You have to have ups and recognize the good girl times.
  • 1 1
 @pinnityafairy: Well, no, you don't make excuses or problems, we experience problems and it's what we do about hem that makes a difference. I recon your learn from problems. I've learnt more from my f*ck ups and they have made me a better person. Every problem has a solution! and as my mum says..things always work out for the best...and my mums a legend.
  • 7 2
 Congrats to Kate for winning the overall! Love seeing the pics from Snowshoe again. I had a great time there watching the races. If you are thinking of going to an UCI event...do it...I highly recommend it.
  • 2 0
 Couldn't agree more, if you enjoy watching them on RedbullTV you will absolutely be blown away. Took my son to the worlds in Quebec this year and it was an absolute blast! Whether you watch Downhill or XC I recommend going to one of the events where both happen, different vibes but the same spirit.
  • 4 2
 I’ve been meaning to ask wtf is such a big deal about world champs and the coveted rainbow jersey? How does winning one race make you the person to look out for next season? I understand being a World Cup champion aka you consistently outperformed your peers but why do we randomly put so much attention on one single race? I’m thoroughly confused for both xc and dh. It seems like world champs are like high school prom because everyone shows up with special paint jobs and jersey then the crown a homecoming king and queen. This has little to no effect on who becomes the valedictorian (insert any other comparison). Please pinkbike fill me in.
  • 3 0
 Being the Champion of the World is a big deal and you have one chance at it each year so that is why it is so important. You can do so so in several world cup races and still be overall winner of the World Cup so each race is "significantly less important" than the World Champs. You have to win the World Champs on that day, it is like a rarity thing. Same goes for the Olympics only 1 chance every 4 years I am pretty sure every pro racer thinks that is the most important thing to win in a career.
  • 2 0
 Totally agree , I think the ***** of nations is so much better ( maybe not for the usa mxon this year though )
  • 1 0
 @jeremeybyrne: I get the olympics comparison but how is the world champs race different at all from any of the other races on the World Cup? It’s the same people at every race and the format is no different right?
  • 1 0
 @levie125: The race itself is not different. It is the way the riders and spectators perceive it. I cannot explain it in a different way than I already have. I guess you just see it differently and I can see why, it really looks form the outside that it is just a another race in the season.
  • 3 2
 My reaction to Thomas's words are that he's sowing the seeds of doubt in Kate's mind. Looks to me like she's questioning and doubting herself and there's a reticence and need to justify in her voice that wasn't there in the past. Ups and downs? It's the pinnacle of mountain biking and there are lots of very fast competitors. She had an awesome season, period. To me, the stories from the past, like her eating a cookie after a hard training session, were so much healthier. I hope she's getting enough time with her family. She's my favorite mountain biker! I sure hope I'm seeing things that aren't there ...
  • 5 2
 Kate's the reason for the seaon, solely why I started religiously watching XC. Such a warrior.
  • 6 4
 Battling mental struggles of World Cup XC Racing? That’s crazy! Has she tried DMT?
  • 1 1
 you Sir, for sure did Razz
  • 2 0
 A lot of harsh comments, made me click on the video thinking what could be so bad. It's just a bit boring that's all
  • 2 0
 This headline needs a little rewriting!
  • 3 2
 I, too, would struggle mentally racing World Cups with Kate. And physically.
  • 2 1
 I know how she feels , I picked her for every fantasy round Redface
  • 6 4
 christ that was boring.
  • 1 0
 Kate, You are an inspiration to us all:-) and beautiful if I may say
  • 2 2
 what a brave woman ,see you next season
  • 1 1
 Should be interviewing Brad, not that old guy.
  • 1 1
 I love cake too ,off to Costco
  • 1 2
 talk to me after she races cyclocross. #MVDP
  • 3 6
 Pauline Ferrand Prevot is 2019 women's World Champion.
  • 7 0
 You are correct! Pauline Ferrand Prevot is 2019 Women's World Champion. Kate Courtney is 2019 Women's World Cup Champion.
  • 3 9
flag capmtn (Oct 10, 2019 at 19:05) (Below Threshold)
 @billreilly: Kate's bootlickers can't handle the truth.
  • 1 0
 @capmtn: you realize World Champion and World Cup overall Champion are two different things right? This is complex I know...
Below threshold threads are hidden

Post a Comment



You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login
Copyright © 2000 - 2019. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv65 0.019325
Mobile Version of Website