Letter to a Young Sprinter

TSH GUIDE SERIES #sprinklewatts

In the spirit of the letters from Rainer Maria Rilke to Franz Xaver Kappus sent from 1902 to 1908. Published in 1929: Letters to a young Poet — (Briefe an einen jungen Dichter)

By Samantha and Skylar Schneider / Team Illuminate

” You’re on junior gears, probably a lot smaller than the women around you, and have your mom’s voice in the back of your head (“be careful sweetie”).

It’s the end of a race and you worked so hard to make it to the last lap, your heart is racing because the spectators are pounding the barriers louder than the the subsequent laps, you have a flash of seeing yourself on the podium.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Focus. On the last lap of a race, every single decision you make matters, and every decision you’re too slow to make could cost you the positioning you need for the last corner or final sprint.

Don’t be nervous, let the adrenaline race through you, embrace the pressure, prove to yourself that you’re worthy of that podium spot. Pick the place you want to be, don’t rely on a wheel because of its owner, pick a wheel because it is moving faster than the others. Always have an escape route should something bad happen in front of you.

Carefully navigate your bike, taking care not to get too close to danger. Keep your head up and your senses sharp.

Come around the last corner with precision in your steering and ready to shift gears as soon as you can find the fastest moving opponent’s wheel.

Stand up and feel every last piece of adrenaline fuel you towards the line. Don’t be dangerous, sprint in a straight line.

It doesn’t matter that you’re younger than your competition. It doesn’t matter that you’re probably the youngest person in the race. When it comes to being a good sprinter, a good cyclist, a good person; age is just a number.

Cross the line, think about what you could do better next time. The thing about life is that you can always improve and the best way to do that is by experience. You’re ahead of the curve, young one, because you have plenty of time to master your skill.

If you’re on the podium, congratulate your opponents, and smile. Always have good sportsmanship.

And don’t forget to report to roll out after the race or you’ll be disqualified. ”