Alberto González, triathlete: an example of a positive mentality in sport
When you are a professional athlete, there are two key points that help you push yourself and get closer to your goals. First, your work, perseverance and passion for your sport; second, all the people who are behind and support you to achieve your results. Behind each person, there is a secure and fixed circle that lives the achievements and defeats of athletes as if they were yours.
Alberto Gonzalez, triathlete and podium scholarship holder, is clear that this is the basis for being able to enjoy his passion in a healthy way. This young man from Malaga has had triathlon in his blood since he was 5 years old. Being his father, the person who connected him with this endurance sport made up of swimming, cycling and running. Who, in addition, has been his coach for all these years.
«I am lucky and privileged to be able to share the triathlon with my father. He lives this sport through me. My triumphs and failures are yours too, ”he confesses to Think Big. Sport is a sphere characterized by its ups and downs. One day you can be very high, but another day you can be very low. It is here, where that circle becomes essential. In fact, this triathlete acknowledges that when that happens, when there is a defeat and his parents and his brother are by his side, “I am calm and I feel protected.”
Another of the great supports is the Telefónica Podium Scholarship Program and the Spanish Olympic Committee. In 2020 Alberto began to be part of this family. He admits that when he received the call informing him that he had been accepted for these scholarships, he felt relieved. The triathlon being a sport of three disciplines requires a huge outlay of money to buy bicycles, shoes, swimming equipment, etc. And this type of material is usually not cheap. Until then, all this material was financed by his family.
The first championships of Alberto González
Until that moment, this man from Malaga has lived a long sports road. His first Alberto podium was when he was 11 years old and was a junior in Cross Italica 2009 held in Seville. For him, that moment was one of the most incredible in his life and it was essential to mark his path as an elite athlete.
Five years later, Alberto was clear that he wanted to go to the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (China). To do this, he began training with his focus on that Olympic competition, being aware that it would be a complicated classification because there were only 11 places for European athletes, one per country, within the triathlon. This meant that Alberto had to work to be the best Spaniard and be among those places.
“That qualifier was very difficult. I started second row, there were many crashes on the bike, but in the race I gave it my all and got the place », he recalls. Once in China, he got a sixth place and made a promise that one day he would beat those teammates. It was here that he became aware that he could do great things in triathlon.
An important lesson: learn to manage defeats
To achieve these goals, you first have to walk a path with many ups and downs. Where only on some occasions there will be a podium. Hence the importance of learning to lose and manage the hardest moments. Alberto recognizes that this learning was very complicated to apply when he was little. But over the years he has learned to manage those moments, because, «Even if I don’t win the gold medal, another place can be a victory too“, Explain.
In fact, during the Arzachena Triathlon World Cup (Italy), Alberto achieved a sixth place which for him was the greatest achievement of his career so far. This athlete has internalized the great lesson of accepting when he is not the winner, as happened during the 2021 Spanish Triathlon Championship. In this tournament, he fought for the podium against David Castro in the spring discipline. At the last moment, Castro got ahead of Alberto and won. «There is no other option but to assume that they have done better than you. For the next one you will work and train more so that it does not happen again».
Currently, Alberto is clear about which championships he wants to fight for in order to win points for the 2024 Paris Olympics. These tournaments that add points in the ranking are the world and world cups. “Any other race right now is not a priority. My calendar is going to focus on these types of competitions », he says.
Short term objectives to achieve the goals
In that line, when you have been focused on a sport for so long there are certain challenges to face. Alberto confesses that the greatest challenge he has experienced has been his fight against himself. At the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022 I did not see things clearly, “my path became cloudy,” he admits.
At the same time that he is an elite athlete, he is also studying physiotherapy. So he lived in constant anguish, since he did not dedicate as much time as he wanted to triathlon or studies. To which was added an injury in the first months of 2022. So, when he improved and finished the university exams, he went alone to a concentration in Sierra Nevada (Granada). This experience helped him to connect with himself, to program his goals and to define what he wanted with his life. «I was at such a low point that this concentration helped me take a run and be clear that the ups and downs are going to be there, but we have to get back on our feetAlbert comments.
A decision that has helped him manage the sports and training aspect has been to split the university course that he would do in one year, in two. Being key to be able to dedicate the necessary time to each aspect and feel good about yourself when you get to everything. Since 2019 work with a psychologist that helps you set short term goals, helping you achieve them more easily.
This story is an example to follow of a positive mentality to face the different situations that appear throughout our lives. Being able to give the relevance that the mind has is vital to give the best of oneself in each competition or in each area of life. Alberto is clear about his goals and where his life is heading, whose focus is on qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Images courtesy of Alberto González.