Everybody who watches professional athletes wants to become a professional and excel at something. Whether a professional football player, tennis player, wrestler or a track and field athlete, people like to dream of becoming a professional in any sport. But what if you actually wanted to do it and it wasn’t just a daydream?
Let us take cycling as a sport to start with. What would it take for anybody to become a professional cyclist? Here are some things to consider.
Genetics Play a Key Role
Some people can ride hard and train all they want, but people with better genetics who train with the same intensity, will end up winning in the end. Genetics play a huge factor for everything and endurance sports are not different in this matter. Endurance athletes need time and lots of exercise to become good at what they are, but there is also a small problem, that of genetics. Those with better genetics have a higher chance of being more successful, if we consider that all athletes train the same and follow a similar pattern.
Starting Off Very Young
Any professional athlete often starts at a very young age. Let us consider tennis players, who can start at the age of 7. At the age of 18, they are already competing with the world’s best, if they start contesting the ATP ladder, and that is if they can manage to win enough points and qualify to even play ATP tournaments.
Cyclists go the same route, starting off very young, to have much more intensive and difficult tournaments in high schools. Even the best riders might not get invited to practice and ride with the best teams, or even the average teams.
Hard Work and Nutrition
It is possible to achieve your cycling goals through repetitive cycling, hard work and a good nutrition plan. It is important to eat right, train right and sleep right, in order to progress in any sport. Cycling is not different. The nuances of training and schedules will have to be worked out for individual athletes, but all in all, this is the simple way to become a professional.
A Professional Does Not Mean Grand Tour Winner
Most people dream of becoming the next Tadej Pogacar when they start cycling, the best cyclist who can win multiple grand tours. However, a professional is an athlete that competes and earns money from their sport. It is their job.
Becoming a professional is hard, but achievable. Becoming one of the best athletes is almost impossible and only a select few of the professionals can attempt to reach that status. Consistency over a long period of time in professional sports, with so many great athletes competing for titles, is very difficult.
All in all, not everybody can become a professional cyclist. Genetics, hard work, and some luck are needed to become a professional. Even then, the real challenge starts once you begin to race against other professionals. It is a difficult route that only a few people can embark on. But, if that is your dream, then go for it!