This past week I had the opportunity to step out of the shop to attend USA Triathlon's Art and Science Symposium. Those of you that know me, I can be a little "geek" like when it comes to bike fitting, but I like to think I try to keep a heavy pulse on the new elements for their relative value to the field of bike fitting and concepts of coaching. That said, the reality of this trip was to acquire my ceus (continuing education units) for my USAT Coaching Certificate. Secondarily there were really good opportunities to attend and meet and hear from three schedule presenters who I have studied from a distance for nearly 10 years. To my disappointment 2 of the 3 did not make it due to the weather. The highlights of the symposium turned out to be much more valuable to my coaching interest and history and the guest key note speakers offered much more value then I ever considered. Here are a couple of notations for your potential interest:
1. Mark Allen asked, "What does it take to stay above "the line" and be capable of a win or performing to your potential?" He then showed these two videos:
The immortal Allen then asked what were the similarities? Do you see them? The similarities is the location or proximity to the finish line, 400 yards to be exact. Now, I know some of you are thinking it was more then 400 yards when the signs occurred, but where all three women began to dramatically limit performance was about 400yards from the finish. Why is this? Well, Mark Allen then added that this process could successfully be corrected, not by following better nutrition, but taking a different perspective in how to push oneself and prepare mentally (I thought this to be a unique insight). That mental advantage is to consider your mental image of crossing that finish line 100yards beyond it's actual location.
Along side this cool bit of Mark Allen's perspective I had the opportunity to meet, learn from and talk to a long time coach and athlete I grew up watching, hearing about, and learning about, Sue Enquist Coach of the UCLA Softball. My aunt is going to be jealous of this one, for those of you who don't know, I come from some what of a line of coaches.
Johan Bruyneel spoke much on his book "We Might As Well Win" and the highlight was his honest perspective of this past years tour, a nice bit of fun information. The most entertaining statement came when Tim Yount of USAT asked how would Radio Shack be able to beat Alberto Contador in the 2010 Tour, Johan's response, "How will Alberto win without me?"
Last and certainly not least was Erik Weihenmayer, who is the only blind climber to ascend Everest in a record time. Follow his link, read his book, and for heaven's sake if you get the chance to here this guy speak, do it, I promise it will be worth the time. I'm going to refer to his friend (whom he spoke of in his talk, a fellow climber) Chris as the father of "positive pessimism". Here is an example: This saddle sure is painful, at least I know I'll go numb. The idea is that you take an obviously negative situation and represent it as a positive, besides its obvious pessimism. Dan, Nick, and I laughed for 2 days off this bit of witty wisdom. Enjoy it!