A good piece by Clare Balding over the weekend on AP McCoy:
'McCoy's mental approach is also unique. He is dedicated, committed, obsessed with winning. It doesn't matter if it's a lowly handicap hurdle on a Monday or Saturday's feature race, the buzz he gets is the same. He's matched quantity with quality, winning the Gold Cup twice, the Champion Hurdle three times, the Champion Chase, the Grand National and pretty much every other big race at least once.
He always points out he's also ridden more losers than any other jump jockey and he's still beating himself up about races he thinks he should have won in 2003, but to punters he is king. They know they'll always get maximum effort. Even if the horse doesn't much fancy it, McCoy will persuade his mount to keep jumping and keep trying.'
Key messages to perhaps take-away?
1. You've gotta be in it to win it, that means consistently putting ourselves 'on the line' where defeat is as much a possibility as victory.
2. Always put in maximum effort NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCES, whether 6-0 5-0 down or in an low stakes practice match on the back courts where 'excellence happens when no one is watching.'
3. Don't just show up for the big prizes, the glitzy events, or only the events that will reward rating or ranking. Find some lowly handicap hurdles on a Monday......