I flailed along paddling for over 16 years in the world of dragon boating. I had the same issues in my stoke for many years. And I had the same results.
Without the stages of training within a cycle of progression we stay the same. So what kept me stuck? Ego. I thought I was good. And, within the comfort of my team, I was. But I was no longer coachable. And, I must have been good enough cause coach stopped correcting me, right? I had embraced being “good enough” thinking the coaches direction was for the new paddler. Little did I realize that the reason the coach stopped coaching me is I had become uncoachable.
What did being uncoachable look like for me?
- I did what was required but never gave more than anyone else
- I started bench coaching others
- I questioned coach decisions when they didn’t align with my wants
- I felt my talent was mine, not a result of the coaching I received
- I did the training that suited me, not the club program
I had become a big fish in a small pond. I liked being that fish, it was safe, it was easy, it validated how I felt about myself as a paddler. It was a form of denial of my skill level, my commitment to the sport and my ability to see myself as anything other than a good paddler.
I went to practices, did what was asked and did the drills but I was not progressing in any way. I had that dam chicken wing for 14 years!!!
I have coached people like myself who I am still correcting the same issues after 5 years. This tells me that athletes are stuck in the rut of being a “GOOD enough”. The only way out of the rut is to:
- Do the club programs, as laid out, without question and without fail, consistently
- Leave the club/team and find a coach who inspires you to change
- Attend camps and clinics to see yourself in comparison to others
- Get video review, it doesn’t lie
- Go to selection camps to see how good you really are
- Go to selection camps to see how many opportunities a coach offers for change to take place
So if we want to be better a GOOD athlete we probably don’t have to change a thing. If we want to be a top athlete, we have to train in progression within a program intended to make lasting change that challenges and evolves our fitness, skills and mindset!
Why Programs? Step by step processes build energy where undisciplined or scattered attempts may teach you skills but progressions is the development that leads to change. Peaking and reaching potential happens in a systematic approach with training in cycles towards a goal.