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Outlaw Conditioning Camp - Fruita, CO

"Perception precedes action, right action follows the right perception. Where the head goes, the body follows"
- The Outlaw Way

April 2024

Since we are not big pedalers, finding places to host a big crew for conditioning is kinda foreign to us, but we are real good at winging it! Fruita turned out to be exactly what we needed. Minimal elevation gain, and relatively easy miles to gain confidence in our conditioning.

We had 20 athletes join for the camp and set some lofty goals of 40 - 60 miles for 2 days of riding plus a sprint day to build our anaerobic capacity that's more relative to racing downhill. Everyone met their goals and pushed themselves very hard!

As a coach, it's always so rewarding to see your athletes break through mental and physical barriers. Doing something different, like pedaling instead of shuttling or dirt jumps, is just the right amount of hard to challenge our athletes in a new way. Plus they get to learn tons of trail and bike skills that may take a bit longer if we just rode downhill.

And they all left camp with new friends, tons of great memories, and new skills that will help them the rest of the season and beyond. These camps are so much more than just riding bikes. It's the whole experience. We live up to the Outlaw namesake :)

One of my favorite things about coaching is working on mental grit and perseverance. When an athlete discovers that their bodies and minds are capable of so much more than they think they are, and that their own self-imposed limits are just that, made up and adjustable, they start to become true athletes and begin to find new ways to challenge themselves. They start to rely less and less on external motivation, and more and more on internal motivation.

"I know if I do this thing that sucks, I'll be better mental, physically, and spiritually"

"I want to do this hard thing because it's a challenge that I can do, but it's going to push me really far."

Often times, there's no other reward than the knowledge that they did it and then they immediately start looking for the next challenge.

That's what this is all about.

And our main mental focus of this camp was to draw attention to the words and thoughts we use that can either help use overcome those obstacles, or hinder us. Complaining seems to be a kids favorite past time, but if they're surrounded by mentors and teammates that remind them of how important words and thoughts are on their journey to being a better athlete and human, then it makes it much easier and much less prevalent. Especially if we are all on the same mission and dipping into group Flow!

Some external motivation of muffins was also helpful. But when it came around to it, they totally forgot that they made the "1-Complaint-Only-For-Muffins" deal and were stoked they got their miles in and had a blast doing it.

Kids are tougher then they and most adults think they are. They are so accustomed to being told they can’t do something or that something is too difficult or challenging or dangerous that they don’t even give themselves a chance to try. They need to be put in situations where they can prove they are tough and stronger then they think they are. Not to prove anything to anyone else, but to themselves. Complaining, not listening, cheating, bargaining, quitting, are all ways to mask their true potential because they are either afraid of putting in the work to find their limits or don’t truly believe they can do the work.

This can and should always be done safely and incrementally, just 4-6% above their comfort zone is all it takes to gradually build their grit, resilience, and perseverance. But it's the consistency and giving them the tools (confidence and competence) needed to succeed and the tools needed to handle failure when they do find their limits.

If their positive self talk and reframing complaints to solutions is high on their list of priorities, then they'll be unstoppable grit monsters!

Congrats to our athletes for a successful camp. I hope you all remember the lessons learned and take it into all aspects of your life.

Until the next one.

Coach Boog

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