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Are you motivated? Thomas Theurillat on goal setting

Thursday 30 January, 2014
Feeling Motivated? ... From Cross Country 151, Jan/Feb 2014

Feeling Motivated? … From Cross Country 151, Jan/Feb 2014


The first thermals of the 2014 season are just around the corner for many – and that means it’s time to start planning for the season ahead.

Thomas Theurillat is well know to Red Bull X-Alps fans – he’s the second half of the Chrigel Maurer phenomenon, a sports psychologist, mountain guide and Alpine pilot all rolled into one.

In the latest issue of Cross Country magazine he talks to us about skilling-up, staying motivated and achieving goals – and reveals how techniques he and Chrigel use in the X-Alps can be used by any pilot.

“Most pilots focus too much on performance goals not mastery goals, and that’s a mistake,” says Thomas.

Mastery goals are things like ‘I will take off and land with style’ for example – while performance goals are things like ‘I will fly 100km’.

“If you focus on the process the flying will be better. For example, instead of kilometres make it your goal to learn to relax during flight, or fly for four hours.”

He adds: “If you are trying to become a better pilot you can give yourself, for example, a mastery goal of learning to see three options ahead as you climb in each thermal.

“If you have a mastery goal like this then each flight will be a success. But with performance goals, if you don’t reach it then you are immediately demotivated.”

It is thinking about mastery goals like this that has helped Chrigel Maurer to X-Alps success.

“In the X-Alps as a team you can say, ‘We want to learn to use 80% of the possible flying day’. Every day with every weather situation you can reach that goal.

“If you say, ‘Today we want to fly 200km’ then you will end the day frustrated.”

Thomas explains clearly and simply how to make sure your goals match your skills to keep your flying fun and to make sure you keep improving – so you’ll fly further, higher and better.

The full article is in Cross Country 151, out now.

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