Cycling Ethic: Do the Work

No Excuses


24“If you slack, you’re gonna suck.” Nelson Vails, Track Cycling Star 

Nellie still working hard in cycling.


One thing fatiguing to a coach is the bombardment of excuses for poor performances by athletes, no matter how creative, original, or pitiable. It’s true that fitness gains take time and in the adaptive stages of development, patience and encouragement are two necessary coaching qualities. Sometimes compassion is the appropriate coaching response.

It’s also true that bike racing combines so many uncontrollable variables there are legitimate reasons for a bad spell. Post-race interviews are often comprised of these colorful essays on unmet expectations and unforeseen adventures.

But today, we are focused on undesirable characteristics, such as laziness and irresponsibility in the context of a poor work ethic. The work ethic as it relates to cycling fitness consists of several parts: diligence in completing moderately difficult goals, and adequately challenging training tasks, ownership of one’s form and competitiveness, responsibility in goal-setting and motivation, and a moral belief that work is both its own reward and yields other rewards.

Since we’ve already pondered the benefits of rest in our bodies and relationships and no one in cycling society is a victim of forced labor, it’s safe to say that a strong cycling work ethic is essential for success. Work ethic is a psychological characteristic of world class athletes.

It’s refreshing when a pressure player confesses a lack of preparation, feeling of fatigue, or admits their limitation on the day. This is an athlete who can realistically address their weaknesses and come back a winner. No excuses, do the work.


Prayer for Work Ethic

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” 25Proverbs 14:23

We are thankful that our work will be rewarded. We confess we often do the minimum and see excellence as an entitlement rather than a reward. We ask for productive determination of the types and amounts of labor, industriousness to follow-through to completion, and conscientiousness in comparing efforts with self in a competitive context.


Ponder Where am I being lazy, expecting something for little effort? Affirm I am responsible for the direct correlation between effort and result that is so clear-cut in fitness. Watch your realistic assessment of your labor, your knowledgeable comparison with your own data, and your belief in what you can accomplish lead to changes in your regimen.

24Conversations with Nelson Vails. Nelson was known as the Cheetah “the fastest cat from the jungle.” Nelson came from Harlem and made good on his fast twitch all the way to the 6-Days in Ghent. He also pounced on gold in 1983 Pan Am Games and a silver medal in the Match Sprint at the 1984 Olympics. He still works hard today.

25The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: