LINDGREN'S MIND GAME
Swedish star Freddie Lindgren admits working with a mental coach has played a key role in his transformation into an SGP title contender.
07 / 02 / 2020, 12:30
Swedish international Freddie Lindgren admits working with a mental coach has played a key role in his transformation into a regular FIM Speedway Grand Prix title contender.
Fast Freddie returned to the SGP series full time in 2017 losing his spot at the end of the 2014 season, spending 2015 out of the World Championship and 2016 as first reserve. Since his comeback, Lindgren has emerged as one of the sport’s big-hitters.
He was denied a likely medal by a broken neck suffered towards the end of the 2017 season. But he made up for it by bagging bronze in 2018 – becoming the first Swede to reach the rostrum since Andreas Jonsson secured silver in 2011.
Every day you might feel different, but you need to be in the same mindset when you go out there and race.
Lindgren finished fourth in SGP 2019 and two top-four finishes underline the Andorra-based ace’s consistency. He insists a lot of work has gone into achieving that, and admits some mental coaching has made a real difference.
He said: “It’s not only one thing – it’s a number of things over the past five years really. A lot of it is my mental approach. I have been working with a mental coach for the past four years now, which has helped me a lot.
“It’s also about preparations – preparing myself in the winter time and also during the season. I need to be prepared and ready when it is show time at GP level. I always try to be the best I can on those weekends. A lot goes into it.
“You need to have a good team around you and people that you trust. Everyone you work with has to work towards the same goal; it’s not just a one-man show. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle.”
Lindgren admits seeing a mental coach has helped him on and off the track. He said: “It started off occasionally, but it’s now a regular thing. I think it’s about putting myself in the right zone when I am about to race.
“Every day you might feel different, but you need to be in the same mindset when you go out there and race. I think that’s what helps me the most – not just on the race days, but in everyday life as well.
“I think people are more aware of mental health now than they used to be. Sometimes you have struggles, sometimes you have doubts and sometimes you just need to speak with someone.
“If you have that scheduled talk and everything is fine, it might take 20 minutes. If I have some troubles, it might take over an hour. It depends where I am in my life at that moment.
“I feel it has helped me not only in my professional life as a speedway rider, but also in my personal life. I am much more stable in my head at the moment. There are always things to improve and things to work on. But I feel I am going in the right direction.”
Lindgren is delighted with the results of his efforts to reach the top level, but would love to realise his SGP world title dream as Sweden seeks its first world champion since Tony Rickardsson triumphed in 2005.
“I feel I have been consistently competing for the medals,” he said. “It’s obviously a little bit better to be chasing the World Championship. That’s what I am looking to do. It’s all in the small details, but hopefully I can improve and I’ll be able to do it someday.”