Posted by Editor on 04/1/17
APRIL FOOLS !!
On the heels of the recent partnership announcement between Cycling Canada and Thought Technology out of Montreal [see Cycling Canada Announces New Partner] rumours are surfacing that the High Performance program may be manipulating athletes through mental programming to achieve better results.
Canadian Cyclist spoke with one retired national team member and two current members (all of whom requested anonymity). Each of them spoke about using team-issued ear plugs and eye covers to 'improve sleep patterns', and that they subsequently noted substantial improvements in performance, included increased alertness, aggressiveness and confidence. All said that the provided eye and ear products were handed out the nights prior to major competitions and that they were required to return them the next morning.
"I have these hazy memories of my coach talking, and of images of me winning," said one athlete. "All I know is, that the next day I felt super confident and totally on my game, and I had one of my best performances of the year."
One performance that is catching attention is track sprinter Hugo Barrette's huge improvement in the Keirin between the Cali World Cup (where he did not make it out of the first round) and the Los Angeles World Cup final a week later (where he won the silver medal). Barrette is on record with Canadian Cyclist after Cali saying that he planned to drop the Keirin at the end of the season because the revised format did not suit him. Yet a week later he was one of the strongest riders in the same event with essentially the same field.
Team officials pooh-poohed the idea when contacted, but High Performance Director Jacques Landry did state "we are always looking for ways to enable our athletes to perform at their maximum capabilities, and will continue to explore new and innovative ideas with our partners."
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