Pata Yamaha WorldSBK star Alex Lowes is a rider who has always worn his heart on his sleeve hiding virtually nothing when it came to winning or not so winning.
In recent times, the Derby-based youngster has been working with a sports psychologist in order to tame those feelings and channel them in the right direction to give himself some space to think, consider and maximise the potential.
One of the most important things as a professional athlete is that you want to improve every aspect, whether it’s with the bike, team, or yourself. At the top level, it is about maximising everything to make sure you reach your full potential. I just wanted to make sure I was getting the most out of myself,” said Lowes.
“In the past I used to try too hard, I’ve never struggled for motivation but I had to learn how to control my passion and not get annoyed at certain situations. Everyone is at such a high level, any advantage you can gain, no matter small, can help. When things are going well and you are winning, it’s easy to be calm and in control, but when it is not going well it’s a lot harder. For me, it’s all about learning to control my emotions and maximise my potential.
Lowes has had a more consistent year in WorldSBK this time around than last season, and is in the team favourite to win this year’s Suzuka Eight-Hours, as he has learned that not everything is as bad as you think it is but has seeing the psychologist been a massive help?
“It’s difficult to say in pure performance, because you can’t compare this year’s results to last year, as there are too many variables to take into account, such as improvements with the bike. I am a bit calmer mentally and this means I can be more consistent,” he said.
“The thing I’ve learnt in general is that it’s never as bad as you think. On the flip side, it’s never as good as you think either, it’s just a case of life goes on. This is especially true in sport and even more so with bike racing with how the calendar and season are. If you can learn to be happy with yourself, with your job, relationship and life, you are winning anyway. If you win a race or crash out from 10th, the only difference in your head is what you allow it to be. So, the biggest thing I’ve learnt is not to take anything personally.
“You have to try and improve things when it’s not going well, and enjoy things when they are going right. Keep it simple. I would never have said three or four years ago there is more to life than what happens on a bike, but there is. If you win the World Championship it’s a huge achievement, but in ten years’ time, in the grand scheme of things, no one will really care. I want to be World Champion because that is what I want to do, but now as long as I achieve my best, I can be happy. I am a lot happier away from racing too and I am thankful for this as you need to enjoy your life.”