I've been trying to formulate what I believe are the three essentials to success in sports - or to put it another way, to winning.

For the record, I'm a cross-country skier; not a great competitor, but I've coached a lot of good athletes (retired now, but would love to coach again, but that's a different topic...).

Basically, success rests on a tripod. The three legs are:

1) Training. This means training intelligently, and training effectively. Intelligently means knowing how, when, how much - and when not. Effectively means training with effective, usually sport-specific methods.

2) Technique. Technique means getting the most out of a given motion or sequence of motions; and eliminating ineffective counter-motions. The better the technique, the more your energy goes into doing what the sport demands, and the better you conserve energy at a given work load.

3) Recovery. This means two things (okay, so maybe it's a four-legged stool, and not a tripod... ) a) enough effective rest; and b) enough effective nutrition.

In my experience athletes fail most often on the second two legs: too little technique work (the top guys work on technique all the time) and too little real rest (resting does not mean just not training).

Motivation provides the will do do all this; discipline directs the effort into effective channels.

Any comments?