'My psychologist and physio are the two most important people in my career' - Team GB's six pillars of performance support and what amateurs can take from this

For the pros, peak performance is underpinned by an elaborate support structure. Josephine Perry considers how amateurs can pick and choose the key buttresses

A GB cyclist in a wind tunnel
(Image credit: Future)

Let’s assume you are already training as hard and as often as you possibly can given your ability and available time. What else can you do to support your performance and become a better cyclist? First and foremost, you could upgrade your bike and hire a coach – the two quickest and easiest options. Provided you have a healthy bank balance, a well-qualified coach and a speedy steed are just a few clicks away. But in doing so, would you be focusing on the right things and getting maximum bang for your buck? 

Josie Knight, current world champion in the team pursuit, is clear where her priorities would lie. “I always joke that my psychologist and physio are the two most important people in my career. You can train as hard as you can every day and maybe add a couple of watts, but there is so much more to work on with your position, your mental approach and making your body physically able to do it all.” Knight credits her physio Katie Flatters for keeping her injury free and her psychologist Rich Hampson for keeping her head healthy. 

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Josephine Perry

Dr Josephine Perry is a Chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist whose purpose is to help people discover the metrics which matter most to them so they are able to accomplish more than they had previously believed possible. She integrates expertise in sport psychology and communications to support athletes, stage performers and business leaders to develop the approaches, mental skills and strategies which will help them achieve their ambitions. Josephine has written five books including Performing Under Pressure, The 10 Pillars of Success and I Can: The Teenage Athlete’s Guide to Mental Fitness. For Cycling Weekly she tends to write about the psychological side of training and racing and how to manage mental health issues which may prevent brilliant performance. At last count she owned eight bikes and so is a passionate advocate of the idea that the ideal number of bikes to own is N+1.