Duncan Simpson, IMG Academy Director of Personal Development, joined Jason Fitzgerald on the Strength Running podcast recently to discuss his role at IMG Academy as well as the importance of focus and self-awareness for athletes. This podcast, specifically designed for runners and track and field athletes, welcomed Simpson's insights about the intricacies of sport as well as his knowledge about minor tendencies and strategies that can make all the difference at the finish line.
Simpson first discussed his position at IMG Academy as well as the role of IMG's Athletic and Personal Development (APD) department. He notes that IMG prepares individuals for the next level and that the role of the department is to be a holistic support mechanism around the student-athletes. From mental toughness to leadership to strength and conditioning, APD focuses on not only athletic success but also on each individual's well-rounded ability and mindset.
From there, the discussion shifts to the topic of focus, which Simpon notes is one of the most important mental skills because it's imperative to focus on the right thing at the right time to ensure ideal execution. He continues to mention that focus is interconnected with primarily every skill, so, although focusing on the task at hand may sound like the simplest of tactics, it can also be one of the trickiest.
Along with focus and self-awareness comes identifying one's distractions and understanding the source of them as well. When running, honing one's mental game is crucial, so it may be just as important to recognize the internal distractions as well as the external variables. One key question to ask yourself as a runner is "does this help or hurt my performance?"
Simpson and Fitzgerald discuss that confidence, distractions, and doubts are common at every level, from beginners to professionals. Additionally, reflection and preparation are important to set yourself up for success for the next practice, race, or meet.
Curious what other topics arise in this Strength Running podcast? Press play on the link below to listen to Simpson's viewpoint on key areas such as training environment, preparation, internal dialogue, subjective emotions, and more.