Not being the best at anything but excelling at everything, Nino Schurter gives the keys to his success

Mountain bike 17/02/24 08:48 Migue A.

Nino Schurter talks about his career in an interview with Mips. The Swiss rider explains how he got started in mountain biking, when he realised he had a special talent and what the secret of his consistency is. He also says he still has the motivation to win races and try to be the best.

Nino Schurter: Motivation, consistency and adapting to change as the cornerstones of a dream career

Professional sportsmen and women are the survivors of the tough selection process at junior level, which only allows a select elite to pass through. However, few go on to triumph and even fewer leave their mark on history. Nino Schurter is an MTB legend. A rider who has won everything and who, at 37 years of age, is still fighting at the highest level. Now, the Swiss rider has been interviewed by Kate Cortney on the Mips Youtube channel.

Nino Schurter recalls his childhood to tell how his romantic love affair with mountain biking came about. "I was born in a small town that didn't have a football pitch or a basketball court, it was all about nature. The myth began like so many other kids his age, using the bike as a "toy" that "I've always enjoyed", as well as "to discover nature".

The Scott-SRAM rider says that as a younger brother he felt the pressure of having to show all his abilities and that during that first stage he liked to "race with my brother or my father".

It was only a short time before Nino's gift was awakened. "I realised I had talent when I was racing; I could always handle the pressure, I was always successful in children's competitions and that helped you to keep going."

Schurter stresses that "I would say that I have talent both physically and mentally". The Swiss gives a lot of importance to both characteristics: "It's something you have to have, I was lucky to have a mental talent and a physical talent. Then I found the right people along the way, who have always helped me".

The interview then turns to other cornerstones of Schurter's talent: consistency and adapting to change. "It helps a lot to have the same people around you, but then you also have to be able to change things, it's not always the same.

"I think it's a mix between consistency and introducing new things. It has to be that mix", although he acknowledges that "in my career I've changed very few things, I've been more on the side of consistency".

The key to consistency has been "being able to build my career very slowly but steadily", as reflected in the fact that he continues to have "the same coach since the Junior races". "We've never tried to take any shortcuts, we've always been able to build step by step".

Schurter explains where one of the keys to his success lies. "I did a lot of tests in the Swiss Sport laboratories. Everywhere, compared to the other Swiss riders, there were better riders than me. However, he says, "but in every aspect, I was above average".

"I think that's what makes me so strong in mountain biking. I'm not the best climber, but I'm one of the best. I'm not the best sprinter, but I'm one of the best. I think that makes me so competitive.

As for the changes that the sport has undergone in recent years, Schurter downplays the issue and says that "it hasn't changed drastically" compared to when he began his career. "Since I've been in the elite it still requires almost the same", despite the fact that "the bikes have improved a lot" and that therefore "the circuits are a bit more technical".

From the rider's point of view, everything remains more or less stable. "As a rider you still need to have a good mix of a bit of everything. You have great endurance, but you need to be powerful going up steep hills, to be technical, to be able to sprint. You need to be a complete runner.

El récord de las 34 victorias en la Copa del Mundo XCO era algo que siempre rondó la cabeza de Schurter, tal y como él mismo explica. Sin embargo, "no era la principal razón por la que todavía disfrutaba".

On the other hand, he marks the Rio 2016 Olympic Games as a turning point. The Olympic gold allowed him to cross off one of the big goals that had eluded him. "Some things changed and I was probably able to change as an athlete, not having that pressure anymore".

Nino explains that he is able to turn pressure into energy and motivation. He also says it is "the most beautiful sport you can do" because "you have the endurance part, the technical part, and you can discover nature, that's my main motivation, that's why I don't want to stop. It's still a lifestyle that I like, training outdoors, working on yourself, feeling that you are strong".

The record of 34 XCO World Cup victories was something that was always on Schurter's mind, as he explains. However, "it wasn't the main reason why I still enjoyed it".

Therefore, and in response to the warning that "maybe it's too early to say", he says that "I have no problem finding the motivation" and assures that for the moment he still has the same hunger for victories as he had before the record.



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No ser el mejor en nada pero destacar en todo, Nino Schurter da las claves de su éxito


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Ne pas être le meilleur en rien mais se démarquer en tout, Nino Schurter donne les clés de son succès


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Não ser o melhor em nada, mas se destacar em tudo, Nino Schurter dá as chaves do seu sucesso