Monday, October 11, 2010

A Call to Action

On my blog and in private conversations I have pointed to the need to form a strong elite training squad based in North America.

Therefore I decided to do something about that and start a very ambitious project. A professional training squad that provides an environment for athletes to gradually, yet progressively, develop the skills required for world-class performances in triathlon. The squad will be open to both ITU and Ironman athletes.

This squad will be based on commitment and sacrifice. My commitment to offer world-class triathlon coaching, and the athletes’ commitment and sacrifice to be the best they can be. It will be based on partnership and commitment to excellence in high performance triathlon.

Words like commitment and sacrifice are nice words, words that you can find in any self-help book. But few of us realize what they really mean because few of us have an idea of what commitment and sacrifice really means. In a society where everything is served to us in a platter, everyone has an increasing difficulty in understanding the real meaning for commitment and sacrifice. And that means that few of us have what it takes.

For those that have what it takes, achieving their goals is the ultimate objective and for that they sacrifice everything else. Among the things they sacrifice is the ego-driven necessity that some athletes have of being in control of every aspect of their lives, which obviously includes their training process. Throughout my years as a coach I have encountered many self-coached athletes that, although with lofty goals and a seemingly unshakeable drive to be the best they can, simply did not have what it takes because of their inability to trust others with their training.

So the question is, do you have what it takes? Well, maybe you don’t. Very few of us have the necessary combination of genetic talent, mental skills and social environment in order to achieve personal excellence in triathlon. But maybe, just maybe you have what it takes. How do you know if you have it? It is quite simple: You go through the process. You put the work in. You commit and you sacrifice. And the product of that commitment and that sacrifice will answer the question.

The squad will operate mainly in North America, with the possibility of having training camps in Europe. The training camps will be the center of activity of the squad. Locations for training camps will not be decided by lifestyle considerations, but on what is the best training environment for the athletes to work. At the training camps, athletes will have 7 days/week, full-time coaching “on deck”.

The core values of the squad are:
- Commitment to excellence
- Loyalty and honesty
- Long-term approach to high performance
- Stability of methods and technical approaches

The basic attributes athletes belonging to the squad need to possess are:
- Ability to recognize challenge and adjust mentally and physically to positively face the challenge
- Enjoy competing with yourself and others
- See the benefit of a competitive environment to personal development
- See obstacles as a necessary and useful part of the learning process
- Display initiative, self responsibility and independence in quest for progression
- Ability to prioritize lifestyle to encompass all the work needed to progress
- Acceptance of the different forms and tools that offer feedback
- Ability to turn negative criticism into a positive learning tool
- Be the best you can be, everyday

Selection for the squad will be composed of two phases:
Phase 1 – Application to join the squad (October 2010).
Phase 2 – Evaluation after attending a trial training camp (January 2011).

Applications for Phase 1 of the project are open until October 31st, 2010. Just send an email to pstriathlon@gmail.com with your CV and a statement on your motivation to join the squad. All athletes applying to the squad will receive a reply, stating their acceptance or not into the squad.

The athletes selected for Phase 2 will be announced on November 15th. Those athletes will attend a two-week training camp in Las Cruces, NM in January 2011. At the camp, the athletes will be evaluated as to their potential to be part of the squad in 2011.

If you have any questions regarding the squad, please don’t hesitate to contact me at pstriathlon@gmail.com .

Yours in Triathlon,

Paulo

3 comments:

WC Athlete said...

good luck :D

Shanks said...

I really dig the concept and the commitment you're giving. Hopefully you'll find a group of athletes with the same dedication! And if it all works out then you're the winner in the end because your coaching business will be booming!

Ryan Denner said...

Paulo-

I commend YOU on YOUR commitment to your idea (passion), and "grabbing the bull by the horns" (assuming this isn't a sarcastic post ;)

I look forward to watching this progress!