Have you made any changes as a result of what we’ve shared? The snag is that if you have been engaged in the kind of psychological warfare that many coaching programmes encourage, you will be wounded. The early stages of our time together is applying the correct treatment to your wounds from the years of being given tricks to improve your body’s performance. Habit, good or bad, has acumulative effect. There is risk that you will think that you are so far down one particular path that your approach is woven into your DNA however, that’s crazy talk. You have to look out to the final days. While none of us can reclaim the past we can take ownership of the future. You will bear the scars but those need be nothing but marks of a battle that you fought and won.
We have considered finding a good man or woman as a coach and the need to prepare the soil for healthy growth. A useful reflective exercise is to consider a past failed resolution. It may have been to learn a language, persevere following a particular diet or reach a certain level of fitness. Do you remember skipping sessions? If I asked what you did with your time instead, would you struggle to remember its cumulative value? Now there may have been an effect of neglecting your plans, in my case that would be a 10:03 IM in Austria instead of a sub 10 hours. Circumstances undermine plans, as will succumbing to a myriad of distractions such as the sofa?
Once this time is lost there is no use cramming. Delivery of sporting performance is an accumulation of effort, just like loving your family. If Dad and Mum determine that sitting together for an evening meal is important, spending time together and chatting each day to help escape the computer, TV and Xbox 360, yet Dad can’t make it home from work, corporate golf games get in the way or he just leaves the timing of the commute that little too late, the time cannot be crammed. His plan to go out one night and visit six restaurants to have six meals to cram in all that fun and time together is not going to deliver the effect Mum and Dad and had in mind.
We need an overarching perspective on life from when the clock starts ticking to the last day. Oscar Wilde once said, “youth is wasted on the young”. I can’t agree. Today is a more important step to provide perspective on your whole life than yesterday. Your youth was an essential, and brief, step to reaching today. Without it you wouldn’t have the maturity to look for a wife, or enjoy children. As with any sport we have early seasons of immaturity. Like youth, there will be fun, along with frustrations and occasionally embarrassment but you have the gift of experience to provide perspective.
Where we have a problem is when youthful immaturity lingers into ‘adulthood’. A sure sign is when I hear men or women in their thirties submitting that they are ‘getting on’. Not recognizing how young they are, how little they know, how much they have to learn is a path of self serving arrogance. It’s the highly qualified, successful military man, corporate manager, or school teacher, who has been educated beyond his intelligence. He has crammed all kinds of smart methods, knowledge and ideas into his corruptible three pound brains but lacks the wisdom to see what a thoroughly unpleasant person he is to live with. Having detected the ugliness in his behaviour, he applied his supposedly superior intellectual prowess, to justify neglecting his purpose for the sake of a lifeplan to sip Pina colada on the beach. You are welcome, thanks for asking, a friend should be a thorn in your side not an echo!
Now I would not encourage you to aspire to sipping Pina Colada on a beach, I would love to join you, but it’s how we get there that is important and in our time together preparing for sporting success we’ll see how.