Very few athletes “execute” on race day (race up to their potential). It takes strong mental skills to remain undaunted throught the ups and downs of the required training and the challenges of each race.
Racing/coaching is as much about the mental game as the physical game! In the end, the athlete must execute - in training and on race day. I have to help them find the motivation to do this.
I have had many athletes from analytical backgrounds, but the best are motivated by a wide range of "rewards." These rewards include objective numbers, but also include many other things. I find that the most mature, "role model" athletes are those who do track their numbers but do not rely on them for all of their motivation. I find that the athlete who is number focused is usually the newer athlete. So, part of my job is to get a new athlete to see the bigger picture - to redefine a "win."
A big part of this comes from experience. A seasoned athlete trusts the journey and tolerates the ups and downs. A new athlete is often only as happy as his/her performance in the last training session or race.
What motivates you?