Balancing Work and Competitive Sport

A question that comes up fairly regularly is how to balance work commitments and competitive sport. Each in their own right can be very demanding and it can require a lot of commitment and dedication to meet defined objectives in each of these.

Cycle sport is no different with amateur racing cyclists requiring anything between 10-14 hours on average performance training time per week depending on the level at which they compete. In addition, for around 6 months of the year they’ll be cycle racing, mostly likely twice a week and again this entails a significant investment in preparation, travel and participation time.

On the other hand, the modern work environment is competitive, always on and needs significant time investment outside normal ‘contracted’ hours in order to succeed.

Across all codes of sport including cycling and triathlon there are great examples of individuals who are equally successful in both business and sport. So, the answer to the question is an emphatic yes, that competitive sport and work can be combined successfully but it requires commitment and planning.

Having competed in cycle sport for many years in addition to working full time the following are my tips for maximising your performance in both :

Planning. Unfortunately, nothing ever happens by accident. Planning is the best way to utilise your time and efforts as effectively as possible. Planning should be a combination of short and long term.

Try and compartmentalise your sport and work so that they don’t negatively impact each other. If you’re having a bad day at the office leave it behind you at the office door and embrace your sporting activity with a positive frame of mind and visa versa.

Realise that it’s ok not to achieve all your objectives either in work or sport. There’s always factors outside your control which will impact. If you’ve made your best efforts, then you can be satisfied.

Cultivate friendships with both work and sporting friends so that you have a like minded support network available to you and an opportunity for you to provide support to others as they may require it.

Take mini breaks. Allow yourself some down time away from sport and work to enjoy other aspects of your life. This could include travel, socialising or any other hobbies that you like to pursue. You’ll always go back refreshed and more motivated.

Don’t forget about your family. Your family, whatever shape or size they may be also need a piece of you and by engaging with them, they can be a great source of support and motivation.

Enjoy your sport. Most amateur sports people take part for the love of their sport so it’s important that training and achieving results does not drain enjoyment and the very reason why the sport was taken up in the first place