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JOURNEY 24: Show Me the Magic!

Take a moment and look in the mirror. When was the last time you can say with honest certainty you have shown the magic in training?

What’s the magic you ask? Well it’s no voodoo cultural thing that you need a blood sacrifice for that’s for sure.

The magic, in my world, refers to those moments of greatness in training and racing that science, logic and evidence-based thought can’t explain.

I want and I expect magic from my athletes regularly. I facilitate this in my daily training environment, and I expect athletes to be emotionally mature enough to understand and embrace this type of thinking.

Moments of greatness

Are you great and can you be great? Yes! Greatness is subjective and is in the eye of the beholder. Why not remove your boundaries and rethink your approach to training and racing? Make greatness a part of your training experience. If you challenge yourself and let go of the learned behavioural parameters you have created to support mediocrity, you may find greatness happens.


While science is critical to understand, and every athlete should have a basic understanding. Science, in my opinion is often over emphasised by scientists and the person (athlete) is misunderstood. With a basic understanding of the science of training and physiology, any athlete(s) will have marginal success. The truth is, an athlete who is daring enough to ignore parameters placed upon them by science and conservative coaching philosophy will ultimately be more successful in most cases.

Evidence based thought

It’s easy for us to want evidence-based thought to dominate our training environment. The challenge therefore lies in an athlete’s ability to remove poor training episodes from memory, which somewhat control behaviour, and create an environment that strives for “magic” at every opportunity.

I truly hope this article is thought provoking and you take some time to work through your association to training and racing.

If you need any additional help with this type of thinking, please contact ETPA via email on

Written by Mat Tippett, Head Coach ETPA

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