The Last Time you did Something for the First Time

a triathlete standing near a sign
January 20, 2017

Mike Ricci



I've been involved in endurance sports since I was six, starting with running and BMX racing. My journey led me to cross country in high school and eventually to triathlons, where I completed 13 Ironman races in six years. With such a long history in endurance sports, it's easy to think I have all the answers. However, I've found that embracing the mindset of a beginner can be incredibly beneficial for progress and motivation.

Being a beginner again means shedding the preconceived notions and routines we've become accustomed to. It means being open to learning from others and actively seeking out advice and tips. One effective way to do this is by training alongside newcomers to triathlon or joining group rides or runs with beginners. By listening to their questions and helping them, we might discover gaps or weaknesses in our own training logic.

Another approach is to try something completely new, like taking up a different class at the gym or exploring activities like yoga or kickboxing. Personally, I found that trying kickboxing made me feel like a novice again, highlighting areas where I had become complacent in my training and reigniting the excitement of learning new skills.

As the off-season approaches, it's an ideal time to step back, reflect on our goals for the upcoming season, and consider how adopting a beginner's mindset could propel us forward. Coach AJ Johnson emphasizes the individuality of each athlete he works with, recognizing them as unique puzzles with distinct abilities, motivations, and lifestyles. Helping athletes piece together their individual strengths to achieve their goals is what makes coaching so rewarding.

Ultimately, embracing the beginner's mindset can lead to breakthroughs in training and a renewed sense of enjoyment and fulfillment in our sports pursuits.

Coach Mike Ricci is the Founder and Head Coach for D3 Multisport.  His coaching style is ‘process-focused’ vs. ‘results-focused.’ When working with an athlete, their understanding of how and why they are improving is always going to take precedence over any race result. Yes, there is an end goal, but in over 2 decades of coaching, experience has shown him that if you do the right work, and for the right reasons, the results will follow.

Coach Mike is a USAT Level III Elite Certified Coach, Ironman University Certified Coach, and Training Peaks Level II Certified Coach. He was honored as the USAT Coach of the Year.

schedule a call