Communication & Self-Awareness

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Until you’ve mastered all 10 of these, every day, don’t worry about others. 

Communication is the foundation of teamwork.

Side talk, gossip and worrying about what others are doing are all poison in a group atmosphere. If a coach’s job is to make sure that everyone is rowing in the same direction, then the athletes job is to row. If Johnny in rower #2 isn’t rowing in the same direction and is fucking the boat up, that is the coach’s job to fix, not Sally on rower #9 to talk about how annoying it is to Terry on rower #8. Sally and Terry need to just stay their own course and maximize their contribution to the boat. In the “No BCD” culture, side-talk is the first and most important removal. If you hear it, remove yourself from the situation and let the person know why you are.

Contributing to the boat can take many forms, but the best way is to maximize those 10 things listed above. We talked the other day about how nutrition & recovery are essentials to being a serious, contending athlete in this sport. #2, 3, 4, 5, 9 & 10 require that you ate well and recovered. This list can be a great self-assessment tool everyday for you. Is training enough of a priority for you that you always arrive 10-15 minutes early to prepare mentally? Can you produce consistent work ethic, passion and effort on days when you feel down in the dumps? What happens at your job when you have a major presentation and you feel ‘off’ or down…Is it acceptable to just call off? Is it acceptable to come in with a piss poor attitude and spread that to others? If it isn’t acceptable in a work environment, or a sports team environment, it isn’t acceptable in your/our training environment.

#4 on our list, body language, is one of the largest failings of newer athletes. If you are doing an individual workout every single movement you make, dictates your next action. Standing tall and taking composed breaths will always get you to the bar faster, and encourage better recovery than hunching over hands on knees. From this point forward, I expect full control and composure during workouts. After workouts is definitely tougher, but you should actively be working on standing, walking or biking as quickly as possible after every effort. One of the best ways I’ve seen this done is immediately after every workout going out for a 400m walk. It clears your head, allows you to breathe, and lowers your heart rate / lactic acid in a more manageable way.

Lastly, #8. Ben Bergeron on being coachable  (5:05 in) — Listen to the rest of his CCPP. Should sound pretty familiar and you should recognize some similarities in the culture he has already created and found success with, and where we need to work to get to.

Extra work has started to go out to some. If you haven’t received it, you haven’t began following the steps we’ve discussed in previous steps, need to meet or talk with me, or I don’t think you’re ready yet / I think you need some more time to just focus on enjoying CF again. If your first thought is to go around me / this system and get the extra work from someone/somewhere else (and/or you do that), you need to seriously think about how that makes you look as an athlete given the steps above and what’s been laid out here in the blog.