Exactly one year ago, I launched a very ambitious project: an elite training squad operating in North America. The goal was to fill an important gap that existed in the US, the lack of a professional training squad that provided an environment for athletes to gradually, yet progressively, develop the skills required for world-class performances in triathlon.
The Triathlon Squad has had a tremendously successful first year. The athletes in the Squad, with my help, were able to create an amazing working environment virtually from the ground up. Where one year ago there was nothing, now there is a very dynamic structure committed to high performance.
For the 2012 season, I am opening the Squad to those that identify themselves with the values and goals that direct our work.
The squad is 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. 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.
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 operates 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 2011).
Phase 2 – Evaluation after attending a trial training camp (January 2012).
Applications for Phase 1 of the project are open until October 31st, 2011. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 2012. At the camp, the athletes will be evaluated as to their potential to be part of the squad in 2012.
If you have any questions regarding the squad, please don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com .
Yours in Triathlon,