Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've always worked with new athletes in every sport that I've been involved in.  That includes sailing, windsurfing, cycling, running, multisport, back country skiing, and several other endorphin addictions. For me, teaching and passing along the lessons that I've learned has been arguably one of the most enjoyable aspects of being involved in those sports.

Over the past few years, I've expanded that "peer coaching" out to include writing about the sports and also doing some informal coaching of individuals and groups. Maybe it's part of a natural evolution as I get older ... those who can, do and those who can't, teach.

 The problem is that there's a fine line that separates "passing along knowledge" from "brag on how much I know." I try not to cross that line, but it's almost impossible to make everyone understand that. There are always some people who will take offense at anything you do or say.

I've spent quite a bit of time recently working with some local athletes related to cyclocross and multisport training plans.  These people have been a joy to work with - eager to learn, motivated to train hard, yet laid back enough that egos are not an issue. We need more people like that in this world.

My feeling is that much of today's society (including amateur athletes) is trying to emulate what's happening in politics. Accomplishing a goal for the common good seems to take a back seat to "make myself look good."

Fortunately, cycling, running, and multisport tends to expose the posers. When you're in a fast group during a race, talking trash doesn't keep you from getting dropped. What does get you on the podium or across the finish line gracefully is hard training and an attitude of pushing the limits. Simply put, you don't win races by talking about how much you know.

I was also lucky enough to be part of a recent event where a diverse group of cyclists all played nicely together and collectively enjoyed a really fun series of races.  The event that I'm referring to is the four race cyclocross series that began in November and ended a couple of weeks ago.

 Participants ranged from a professional-level racer to absolute beginners, experienced mountain bikers to a fixed gear roadie, and everything in between. 
This event also included a kid's race as part of each series event. If the kids who raced are any indication of what the next generation of cyclists
will be like, we're in for a treat.

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