If your team or club is experiencing conflict as a result of some paddlers wanting to be more competitive while others do not, here are the four “P’s” that need to be in place to build cultures of healthy competition:
PROCESS is the “expectation of each paddler to achieve the team goals”. Without a process paddlers will do what they THINK is expected of them rather than WHAT is actually required. The process is a step by step plan for paddler development.
PROGRAMS are the actions the team or coach provides that progress paddlers to meet the goals laid out in the process. These programs are the development phases of the skill sets required to meet the goals. Without programs paddlers do what they THINK will make them a strong paddler not meet the criteria coaches are looking for.
PRINCIPLES are the values coaches communicate within their actions, words and intention. If coaches don’t lead with this value system paddlers will SENSE a disconnect between what is SAID and what is DONE. This can create disrespect between coaches and paddlers which ultimately leads to paddlers being disengaged.
PLAN the season and the year. When paddlers can see the plan of progression that the programs provide and understand how their training leads into the race season, they are free to choose or decline to participate. Clearly laid out plans are the path of forward momentum that builds excitement by removing uncertainty. Unclear paths cause paddlers to question what they are doing, why they are doing it and how it benefits the end result which is an energy drain. The plan is the map or direction.