So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

You Can't Always Get What You Want

First, a funny: I was getting to leave my work area yesterday afternoon. I picked up my gym bag, then reached over to my desk to grab my warm-up clothes and my swim trunks, which were on hangers and drying. The lieutenant sitting across the office asked, 'what's that?' I replied, 'Speedo.' She said something like, 'well, I've never seen them like that before...'
One of those responses that will leave you (occasionally) scratching your head.
I don't think there's anything humorous I could have shot back, but everyone else in that four-person office responded in a way which was enough to make her blush. I've done it once or twice before to her, usually as a joke. After a year, though, it's almost a form of sport to see how innocent the response can be that will turn her a shade that would make Crayola jealous. It's always a little bit cerebral; leave the innuendo far, far underneath the surface.
Okay. On to my secondary topic.
While I try to work with each individual athlete who comes out to train; find out their goals, determine their limitations, strengths and weaknesses, there are some things that are absolutely non-negotiable.
1) There is one person in charge of the workout.
2) While there are individual preferences, the workout plan is not a rerun of Let's Make A Deal.
3) The workout is voluntary, which means you can leave at any time.
I do have athletes who are experienced, who know their bodies well enough, and take the time to talk with me about what they plan to do. That's a mature athlete. In their case, I listen and throw my two cents in there. Most of the time I've been fairly well in my estimation; there have been times I've been wrong, too.
One of my favorite podcasts; one that I've listened to at least once a week since it popped up on my iTunes account is produced by the staff at They were/are/coach top-shelf triathletes and have loads of experience...not to mention a serious sense of humor. The coaches corner is only 25 minutes long, but filled with great insight. My job is to teach athletes to think for themselves...then step back and serve as an advisor during those moments when they are not so certain.
I guess the choice comes down to two. I can treat athletes like rational adults who know what's best for them. I can treat them like kids who need to be led by the nose. Frankly, I prefer the former...and every little piece of rebellion and isolation just makes me more certain I'm right.

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