This summer we have 500 athletes following ELITEAM’s new “Dig Deep” Online Summer Training Program. With so many athletes working hard, striving to reach their goals and dreaming of the podium, we thought it fitting to give them a look behind the curtains to see what it takes to make it. Our “Summer Training Series” continues with a feature on an ELITEAM Alum recently named to the US Ski Team, Jimmy Krupka.
Jimmy will be traveling and training with the B Team this year. He generously took the time to document one full day of workouts, nutrition and mental skills training to share with us. What does a typical day look like for a top level athlete? Read on to experience “a day in the life” of a top athlete pursuing his dreams.
A Day in the Life…
The mindset of an athlete can be a performance-crusher or the golden ticket to success. Below is a daily dose of mental skills training as recorded by Jimmy. He gives us an open and honest look at how he approaches his mental goals and daily challenges. He shares his mental focus for this summer, three things guaranteed to up your mental game, and two elements critical to success.
Jimmy’s Mental Training
7:00am Woke up and checked my To-Do list for the day. This is very helpful, because I often get distracted throughout the day and forget what I’m supposed to be getting done. The list keeps me moving and productive. It can be taking care of my skis or answering an email. Anything that keeps me sharp, and busy enough that I don’t spend all day watching TV or playing video games.
8:00am Workout with my team: Grateful that I have such a passionate, hard-working team. We make sure to call each other out when someone is slacking or not doing an exercise correctly (no one takes it personally, because we all know it is in our own interest). We lift each other up and help each other be better and work harder.
11:00am Tempted to keep sitting on Instagram. But I tore myself away. Too much time on social media makes me lethargic and can waste a lot of time. My goal this summer is to use social media only 30 minutes a day. Admittedly, I’m having a tough time with it, despite using Screen Time limits in Settings.
1:00pm Meditation: 10 min with the Headspace app. I still haven’t decided whether I like doing it in the middle of the day or end of day. But I do know it makes me feel more in control mentally. It’s also good training for high-pressure race situations.
3:00pm Workout: After a few hours doing some emails (and writing this), I was starting to feel a little lethargic and content to lie on the couch for the rest of the day…So it was time to work out!! I felt good once I was pedaling uphill (biking always makes me feel good). I tried out different perform-under-pressure mindsets during the 15 second sprints.
7:00pm Dinner: It’s time to relax and have fun. Keeping spirits high is something my team is good at, but occasionally it requires some work. We’ll blast music, put a good movie on, play a game, or have some general banter. This becomes even more important as our schedule becomes really grueling and tiring in the long winter months.
10:00pm Pre-bed routine: I fall asleep very easily when I follow my age-old routine. Make sure the room is dark and cold. Fill out a few thoughts from the day in my journal. Brush teeth. Hydrate. Drift off to sleep with an audiobook (you can set a time limit).
Overall Mental Skills Thoughts
What are your mental goals this summer?
This summer I’m focused on ‘sending harder.’ I’m trying to prep myself for World Cup courses, which are fast and icy, whether it’s slalom or super-G. When I’m off snow, this means practicing sending when I’m surfing, when I’m mountain biking, and when I’m dirt biking. I’m not dumb about it (not getting hurt is imperative), but I am pushing my limits.
What advice you would give young ski racers in the area of mental skills training?
There are three things you can do right now, every day, that are guaranteed to help you. (1) Journal—you can try it in the summer, but it’s most important when you’re skiing. Write down what worked, what didn’t, and what you learned each day. (2) Meditation—try the Headspace app. Or just try counting your breaths—and only focusing on that—for 5 minutes. And (3) Positive self-talk—or, simply, the lack of negative self-talk.
What does it take to make it?
At the end of the day, there are two things that got me on the US Ski Team: grit and fun. The path to success can often suck. Grit gets you through cold days, crappy-snow days, lethargic days, bad skiing days, hard workout days, double workout days, bad sleep days, etc—and not just through, but thriving on your way through. Fun is the reason you do the sport—don’t ever forget that. And actually, I did forget that, in January. It was the worst month of my skiing career (solely DNFing and bad skiing). But once I remembered to have fun, I won my first NorAm and paved my way to the Team. You ski fastest when you’re having fun.
An enthusiastic thank you to Jimmy for allowing us to enter his head space for the day… thank you for the inspiration! While you’re out there “Sending Harder” this winter… we’ll be here “Sending you Positive Vibes”!
Follow Jimmy’s adventures, training and progress on Instagram @jimmy_who_.