Athletics Sports

Of Aert ‘Cycle Focus’ (and rises so above themselves)

2a395b855566060a33026b6da2b3d0b6 - Of Aert ‘Cycle Focus’ (and rises so above themselves)

Can the defending champion to his role deliver?

Of Aert ‘Cycle Focus’ (and rises so above themselves)

Since he works with a mental coach, lost Wout van Aert no championship more. In his head he is ready to himself as Belgian champion, ” says mental coach Rudy Heylen.

camera closecorrect Refer ds2 facebook gplus nextprevshare twitter video

World champion Wout van Aert can Sunday, his fourth Belgian title in a row: “He is mentally well.” David Stockman/belga

Can the defending champion to his role deliver?

Of Aert ‘Cycle Focus’ (and rises so above themselves)

Since he works with a mental coach, lost Wout van Aert no championship more. In his head he is ready to himself as Belgian champion, ” says mental coach Rudy Heylen.


Toon Aerts: “I’m not the number one favourite’

Read more below

VeldrijdenBelgisch championship

Benedict Vanclooster

BrusselDrie seasons though Wout van Aert unbeaten on Belgian and world championships. Also for the national title tomorrow in Kruibeke, he stands at the bookmakers with the lowest odds behind his name. Experts and analysts repeat the like: Wout van Aert is a kampioenschapsrenner.

It does almost forgotten how clouded Of Aerts relationship with national and world championships ever was. In his younger years struggled the Kempenaar, with a real kampioenschapscomplex, that in his first PA as eliterenner, in 2015, his boiling point reached. On the heavy modderparcours in Erpe-Mere kicked him to the exploration of all his versnellingsapparaat piece, so doubt and anxiety are head binnenslopen. The match turned out to be a selffulfilling prophecy, again with a defective versnellingsapparaat and, despite the favorietenstatus, a third place as a result.

It was in the aftermath of this by Klaas At won BK that Of Aert on the advice of his former leader Niels Albert for the first time, to become went to be with Rudy Heylen. The mental coach learned Of Aert a ommeslag in his thinking. ‘Wout dared ever to walk in verhaaldenken, ” says Heylen. “As soon as he is in a contest was, he began the scenario, it all further. For example, if he halfkoers twenty seconds behind was, he thought: that hole I don’t get to close. Maybe that was true, but that is not a useful thought. On the contrary, he was convinced, and that worked for the prediction only in the hand.”


‘The pressure is to Show Aerts as high as on Wout’

Of Aert learned from his coach that verhaaldenken to convert in actiedenken. “That means: to be in the situation thinking’, says Heylen. “The contest starts now, I leave with twenty seconds behind, and the challenge is that gap and win. How do I go about this? There goes my attention go.”

In the run-up to the tricolore sene in Lille the following year was Van Aert a focused thought ingelepeld: “I Bike “Focus”, the enigmatic phrase that later became the title of a book, recorded by wielerjournalist Nico Dick. Heylen was Aert the phrase a hundred times, write it down, it adorned on a sheet of paper into the mobile home, and during BK for own people would Aert the a hours cancel. And he then first kampioenstrui in the elite should gird.

Also in Kruibeke is the later case not to be in verhaaldenken to expire, says Heylen, but functional to keep thinking. “I Bike Focus” should be at Wout to signals of pain or trouble to counter, and to turn his thoughts to be useful to focus, so that he does not let down. That sentence is in him ingrained. The right focus keep is also discussed during our coaching sessions. How are you going to react if the wedstrijdscenario on the BK is not happening as you had in your mind? That means that Wout a plan B, C and D has.’

Rudy Heylen. blg

Wout the thinker

By the vechtscheiding with his previous employer and the long uncertainty about his future Of Aert a turbulent 2018 behind the back. That extrasportieve concerns may have a greater impact on his physical performance than we can imagine, says Heylen. “I work with athletes from a wide range of sports. In big lines, you’ll see three types persoonlijkheidsstructuren come back. There is a group on impulsivity functions, often practitioners of contact sports or rallysporten, rarely of endurance sports. In a second group, the creative genes to above, such as in soccer, but also, for example, Mathieu van der Poel (who has no mental coach has, red.). And then you have a third category: those who work from their own strong thinking, analytical ability, and the associated perfectionism. Wout, I can place in this category.’

Each of these three patterns can be a mental weapon forms, but also to self-sabotage lead, said Heylen. ‘The risk for the third type is that they are in piekergedrag get bogged down, that they are, 24/7, with certain dominant thoughts continue to roam, which is very tiring. That is also what Wout had happened. If there is something in his head is still not cleaned up, it may be difficult to let go. As the uncertainty over his new contract remained long, weighed increasingly heavier on him. That was in the first half of the season a dragging brake on his rear wheel, and before he realized he was winning almost forgotten how to.’


Van Aert was able to this winter, no klassementscross to write his name, but to doubt himself, he has never done, says Heylen. “Because he for themselves a clear certificate for his long string of close results: the extrasportieve that him distracted, have increased muscle mass that he uphill had to be carried away, and he sees also, of course, that Mathieu is even stronger.”

“If there is anything in his head is still not cleaned up, Wout that are hard to let go’

Rudy Heylen

Mental coach

It took until mid december for Van Aert got the confirmation that he was from march in the shirt of the Dutch Jumbo-Visma could come true. “It is not that he gave me during the period of uncertainty is more often consulted,” says Heylen, ” the focus of our coaching sessions elsewhere. We went for a more narrative work. Wout was in a situation where he and a few people are story the jetty, as there are often conflicting interests were. It was important that he share that in a private, safe environment to do it.”

Although the lawsuit that his previous team has been brought still over his head, lives Of Aert according to his mental coach delivered them to the championships and the classics on the road. ‘The extrasportieve hatch he experiences when completed. We are both glad that we are back fully on the sporting mógen focus, because that feels like a privilege. My impression is that he is there for the BK mentally in good shape and he is very bitten to the title to address. It is expected of him that he for the fourth time in a row wins, but expectations are never result. Wout also realize that they are of no use to engage with expectations. We have the attendant worked.’

Adrenaline rush

Even if Van Aert there Sunday in with the expectations to go, there is still the pressure. The defending champion only seems to lose, while Toon Aerts, the most cited opponent, in the luxepositie is that his season is already a success. “I don’t know if that is a correct sketch of the initial situation is’, meaning Heylen. ‘Toon Aerts has been a few times the multiple of Wout this season, especially in the beginning. He also felt that Wout be a more difficult year you’ve had. I can imagine that he thinks now is my chance, now should I. The pressure will be for him so high. And in the case of Wout, I don’t worry about it. He mastered the necessary techniques to the press for a piece to dispose of.’

The 24-year-old rider who ever with a kampioenschapscomplex struggled, proclaimed this week in his blog on Wielerflits: ‘At championships, I can add a little more.’ Heylen nods. ‘Wout has a great self-knowledge is built up and taught to his thoughts and emotions well. He can balance or bring peace. Such a championship gives riders free extra adrenaline, because the atmosphere will be intense and the stakes larger than in other veldritten. That gets them out of their comfort zone. Some lose their mental balance and go under the pressure. But in the case of Wout helps that shot of adrenaline right to the top himself to rise.’


Toon Aerts: “I’m not the number one favourite’

The elite men ride Sunday their BK cyclocross in Kruibeke. Just like the past few years, Wout van Aert the favorite, but this time has Show Aerts on good paper. He won all four crosses, including two in the world Cup. Yet he called himself not the absolute favourite. ‘Wout is this season still more common than after me ended. He is someone who is very hard can work towards a championship, so I estimate him very highly.’

Furthermore, can also Michael Vanthourenhout and Laurens Sweeck the plans of the world champion in the war to send. ‘It is a fair course’, suggested that last after the exploration. “Without bad luck, wins the strongest rider. It is an outstanding for guys with a great ability, but also with a few technical pieces.”

The women elite’s drive for the first time on Saturday. Sanne Cant can for a tenth time the Belgian title grab. “The tricky trail advocates in my favor. Laura Verdonschot and Loes Sels are my greatest opponents.’

Sels won last week in Gullegem, tom Tom Vanoppen ‘sees opportunities:” this course offers Loes on better cards than Sanne Cant.’ (blg)


12: eerstejaarsnieuwelingen and girls-newbies

13h40: juniors

15h: women elite (+ promises, and juniors)


11am: tweedejaarsnieuwelingen

13h30: promises

15h: elite (+ elite z/c)

More info:

Leave a Comment