Prepare mentally.
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If your job is to launch your body into the air, upside down, over a stretch of concrete, physical fitness and proper nutrition will only get you so far. According to Nyquist, at the moment of competition, full-on commitment to carrying out your plan is a must. He knows exactly what he's going to do as he prepares to drop in: "I feel a seriousness come over me. I think to myself, You didn't come here for nothing. Now's the time," he says. The same could be said for any major challenge you will undertake.

Nyquist says that his friends chuckle when he drags his finger through the air, tracing out his route before beginning his run. "I learn the run and I learn what is possible given the design. You have to land perfectly after each hit or you lose your momentum. Basically, a lot of what this sport is, is studying," Nyquist says. He may know exactly how he will hit each ramp over a month before he drops into a run, or he may end up debating what tricks he will perform up until the night before his competition. But the point is: When it's time to go, it's time to go. Even if you've planned up until the last second, there's a threshold that, once crossed, demands the mental discipline to (perhaps paradoxically) surrender to what must be done. To us, that's not only solid BMX advice, but life advice, too.