Nine MX world titles counts for a lot when it comes to knowing how to be the best. Italian ace Cairoli shares some of his best advice on how to be a winner.

With nine motocross world titles to his name, and nearly 100 GP victories too, Tony Cairoliis already a legend of the sport. The 33-year-old Italian also happens to be one of the most friendly stars on the MXGP circuit, known for being personable and approachable.So how does someone achieve so much success at a young age, and manage to stay so grounded? Here’s what the Sicilian champ singled out when we asked him exactly that…

1. Go in prepared

Going into battle with the knowledge you’ve done everything you possibly can to prepare will give you an inner peace, and that will do wonders for your confidence on the start line.“At the beginning it isn’t easy for anybody, even for the biggest talent, but you have to be cool and be confident in what you did before the race to prepare,” explains Cairoli.“Have you worked hard? Have you done everything you could do? If the answer is yes, be calm, go out there and do your thing, and the results will come one day!”

Image result for tony cairoli 7 time

2. Follow your feelings

Knowing when the time is right to step up your commitment and dedicate more time, effort and resources to your chosen pursuit is a difficult science to formulate. Paying attention to your instincts about opportunity and timing will help you take the right steps.“You should feel it,” says Cairoli, about the timing of when to get serious about your sport. “With me it was like that and I had to move far away from home at that time, so it wasn’t an easy decision to take. I would say that the right moment is when you feel that the time you already have to prepare for the races is not enough to keep improving, and that you need more.”

3. Remember: This is a passion, not a job

A mantra as old as the sand at Lommel, but one which stands the test of time and proves it’s worth repeatedly. Having fun goes hand in hand with being more relaxed, and more often than not that leads to improved performance.“The most important general advice I can give is to be motivated and to have fun. You have to ride happy, to love what you do and do it with passion. All the sacrifices you are making in training are done for a reason, so don’t treat it as a job!”

My overall advice? Do what you like doing, live your life, and enjoy it!Antonio Cairoli

4. Listen to your body, and your mind

Pushing your limits too hard (over-training, spending too much time in the bubble of your pursuit, and becoming anxious about competitions and racing) is a mistake even the most experienced professionals make from time to time. Doing it when you’re young can lead to a loss of passion for your sport before you’ve even really got started.“Listen to your body! It’s not easy but it’s the best way to grow and train healthy,” says Cairoli. “I’ve never had nutrition advice or physical trainers in my life, I’ve always done it all by myself, listening to my body and my mind.“I know that today that can sound a bit weird, but with the right people around me and a good metabolism, I never had to listen to anyone other than myself. Your body, and mind, know when they need to rest, refuel, or train hard, so try to listen to them!”

5. Your team needs to be like a family

This is perhaps one of the hardest things to get right, but the time invested in looking for the right “set up” for yourself will pay dividends for a long, long time. Having a reliable support network, and being part of a team or structure that complements your character and values, well, can make or break a career.Cairoli has been with Claudio De Carli’s team for 16 years now, and with them has obtained his nine world titles…

“It’s a key point. Having the right people behind you can make a huge difference. When I arrived in the De Carli family I made the biggest step in my career. It’s not easy but it’s really important to find the right people.”