If not now, when?

 

This afternoon I was guarding Missouri Swimming, as they were practicing.   The swimmers were discussing the pending set and the coach said to one swimmer: 

 

If not now, when? 


I love that!   I considered my personal journey as well as those I coach — how many excuses have we permitted to hinder performance, to delay our desire to chase certain goals?   I know I am guilty.   

 

In that, I am encouraging you to do what is necessary to make your dreams a reality.   To set goals that make you JUMP OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING!  

If you struggle with how to do that, reach out.  Employ the knowledge and skill of a coach.   Get the direction and guidance needed to help you chase down your goals.   I am here to help you.  

Posted in coaching, coaching girls, coachingkids, commitment, community, courage, goal setting, kidsinsport, kidstriathlon, motivation, preparation, seeyouathefinishline, swimming, training, triathlon, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcoming 2017!

 

This past week, I was gifted a week of unpaid vacation.   And I thoroughly enjoyed doing lots of nothing, to get up and do some more.   I have spent my first Christmas and New Year’s in Houston, and have been preparing for the upcoming season and upcoming year.   In the last several months, I have been reflecting not only on 2016, but my coaching skills, goals and desires.  I am learning from my mistakes and continue to strive to build relationships.    I am not completely certain where 2017 will take me but I am OPEN to the adventure.  

The year 2016 ended with a relocate and the word of the year as OPEN.   In being open, I was catapulted across the country.   Never expecting to land in Houston, I have managed to navigate my first year here.   After choosing a word like OPEN, I was hesitant to choose a word — but instead adopt another.    My word is COMMITTED.   And in being committed to my goals, my objectives, my relationships and desire to teach in my coaching, I am learning to FLOW

A friend shared this picture:

 

 


 

I started this morning giving back to the community as I volunteered at a RunHouston race at the San Houston Race Park.   I can honestly say that this was the MOST fun I had volunteering recently.  I worked the finish line.  We laughed, and shared the experience with the runners.   It was absolutely thrilling to see some of the kids completing their 1K.  

 

In my quest, I do anticipate continuing to serve you my athletes, friends and clients.   I am looking forward to what the new year brings and look forward to sharing it with you.   


I look forward to seeing you at the finish line.  

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Coaching with Care

I have been reflecting on those things I can do better as a coach.   One thing keeps coming to mind —  I asked a senior on my field hockey team if she was OK.   Well, let me rewind a bit……. We the team were struggling.  We made a commitment without realizing the enormity of the work involved, without completely taking ownership, and without proper and effective communication amongst ourselves as a team.   The school nurtured the ability to circumvent the coach when problems arose to go to the Athletic Director to solve the problems,  not for advise to address the problems.   As a result, the team imploded.    

And one day in practice as I watched my team collide, I asked a senior captain if she was OK, and her response still resonates with me — she was shocked I would ask, because she thought I hated her.   

In that moment, I knew I failed her, myself and my team.   

 

As I am reflecting at the end of this year, I keep that lesson in mind.   It is not what you know that people remember, but how you make them feel.   


Maya Angelou said it best:   

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, 

people will forget what you did, 

but people will never forget how you made them feel.  


 

FAST FORWARD to the end of 2016:   I have not coached a group sport since leaving the field hockey team, to pursue coaching youth for triathlon.  I am working with kids, much younger than my field hockey team.   Impressionable youth who are seeking approval, regardless of the outcome.   Impressionable youth who are seeking to know that you the coach care.  

And I am continuing to learn to be open, to be approachable, to be friendly, to speak to the kids, to get at their eye level (I am six feet tall), and to listen.    

By asking questions that require more than a yes or no answer, I am nurturing conversation to learn more about the athletes.  I am teaching about relationships.   

Yes, I want to learn more and expand my skill-sets to teach and coach triathletes of all levels and abilities.  

BUT I want to be that coach the athlete is excited to see, wants to work with and is thrilled to share with.  I want my office to be buzzing, to be approachable regardless of how I am feeling that day.   

 

 


Posted in caring, coacheseducation, coaching, coaching girls, coachingkids, commitment, community, courage, fieldhockey, kidsinsport, listeningwithintent, seeyouathefinishline, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reset: Revolutionary Yoga for Athletes — A book Review

Dust off your Yoga Mat!   If you are like me, you have one but are not quite certain where because it is tucked away in a closet somewhere.   I have currently received a copy of, Reset:  Revolutionary Yoga for Athletes, by Erin Taylor. 

 

 

After flipping through this book, I was impressed by several things. 

First:  the author understands the demands of being an athlete.  In this she states, ‘Spending five minutes a day addressing a specific imbalance is more effective than attending one yoga class a week.’  

In my work, I add activities or exercises in the warm-ups/warm-downs to make overall improvements.   Whether there is a flexibility issue, a strength issue or something else, it can be worked on consistently through a specific sequences or systems.  There does not need to a overdone preventative program, but specific activities to improve specific skill-sets.  

The author recognizes that it may be a challenge to add one more class or training session to the program, BUT leans toward creating consistency by spending time each day working on flexibility.  

And:   The activities are designed based on your self-evaluation and can be added to your programming whether in a gym, outside or in a track.  

You are responsible for you!   It is self-awareness and self-evaluation, creating guided protocols to improve on those limitations.  Let’s face it- we know if we have limitations in our flexibility.   We may not know the specifics or how to go about creating long-term changes.   The author provides sequential activities to assist in this.   It is systematic and simple.  

 

What I do not like is the ideas of specific muscular activation.   In one chapter, the title is Wake up your butt!  Our bodies do not work that way.   We are inundated by our current fitness industry that muscles can turn off at will and we need to perform some magic to get these to rejoin the world of the functioning.   The reality is, I cannot say to my right glut — OK!  ACTIVATE!  And it will turn on and do what it needs to do.  We need to focus on how the muscles inner are and work collectively, not independently.   I train movement patterns, not muscles.   We perform through collective movements, not disconnected activities.  

In some respects, it is a one size fits all program.   One needs to weed through the book to find the useful practices for the individual. While all the activities may be beneficial, not all may be appropriate for everyone.  

This is a good resource, for the individual who can incorporate these into their current programming.   We need flexibility to maintain our longevity as athletes.   Yoga is a solid means to maintain the dynamic strength.   Taking a class may not be a option due to time or other restraints.   This book can provide the tools to improve flexibility.  

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Athletic Development — how do you understand it

I have four cats, all boys.  And yes, my apartment looks like I have boys.   All the time.  

And because I have cats, I am able to observe amazing fetes of balance, jumps, climbing, leaps and runs.   Some gracefully executed, and some not so much.   These four have me thinking about what is necessary to perform in a moment’s notice.  Cats have the ability to leap from a sleeping pose.  I want to be able to do that.  

 

My youngest, Jasper is usually in the heart of whatever trouble is being created.  

 Jasper keeps me on my toes.  He is one active baby at two.  And he inspires me to think about what is necessary for the kids I work with to be able to move.  

 

Simply Put:  I look at what they need to do and what they currently are able to do.  And we go from there.

 

Each athlete needs to be able to push, pull, bend, reach, squat, lunge, twist, jump, brace and balance.   Some need to throw.  Each needs to be able to balance on one foot.  Each needs to be able to jump and each needs to land.  

 

Keeping these in mind, with the objectives of the sport, creation begins.   I permit creativity from my clients and working with kids, I allow these to choose an activity or exercise they want to do.   I also have them make up names for exercises.   And I have FUN!   If I am not laughing, my clients probably are not laughing.   

 

A colleague has a group Rise and Shine, in his school. These videos are of kids, by kids.  This is athletic development. This is FUN! 

 

And grown-up kids can do these too.  I train grown ups and kids with the same movement patterns and the same underlying fun.   In fact, some of the best laughter came from a Women’s TriStrength Group.  They did not realize how much fun training should be.  

Care to join in the fun?  

Posted in athletic development, coaching, coaching girls, coachingkids, kidsinsport, kidstriathlon, preparation, strength, training, triathlon | Leave a comment

Are you paying attention to the warning signs?

Today, as I was exploring the Gulf Coast of Texas, I encountered this sign.   No need to tell me twice, I have no intention of facing off with a rattler.   I stayed on the path, and headed off to the beach.  

 

In our training, we have many signs.   Our body communicates well.  It is we who fail to pay attention.   

Sometimes, our body is saying it needs another rest day, sometimes it says NO MORE.  Sometimes it says GET UP SND GO!  

Many of us fail to heed the small reminders to rest and eat appropriately, before our body shuts down putting us on the injured list indefinitely.   

Your body has a unique way of communicating with you.   Whether it is an achy or flu-like feeling, an overly lethargic feeling, or  an amazing energy level, your body is saying it can go!  It needs more time!  Or it needs to be fueled better.   Learn to understand what it is saying.   Listen to the signs and take appropriate action.   

Paying attention to the signs can prevent set backs and potential injuries later.  

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Encouraging Girls and Young Women to Pursue Excellence

I coach many kids, youth and young adults.   I work with boys and girls, and have grown to enjoy working with these young ones, influencing and empowering each to pursue excellence.    Recently, I have read and heard rumors that in light of the election that it more difficult to coach young women.  One such article,  

CHALLENGE OF INSPIRING YOUNG GIRLS TO ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS JUST GOT MORE DIFFICULT AFTER ELECTION (USA)

was shared (as a reprint from The Daily News) on The Female Coaching Network.  After reading the full article, I acknowledge that the intent of the original article was political.  It is not my intent to share political philosophies here, but to shed some light in how the election positively influences my role as coach.  

One needs to consider the accomplishments that Hillary Clinton made in her lifetime, and in her career.   She has many firsts, including being able to have won the presidential nomination for her party.   Considering there was a time women were not permitted to vote, or college was about finding a husband, or becoming a secretary, Clinton paved the way for women following behind her, changing trends and creating new ones.  

 

We need to continue to encourage young women to pursue their dreams.   We need to encourage these to do so with integrity, honesty, and pride, setting challenges before them to uphold the values the lead to excellence.   

By stating that we are no longer able to do so because of election results, indicates that we can only be effective and positive role models when the tide is with us, when we are winning.  Are we teaching entitlement or hard work?  Are we saying that because a girl is in the race, she has to win?   Excuse me, competition does not work that way.   NO one is going to step aside to hand you the victory just because you show up.   

The reality is that we can train, work hard, and yet not achieve all we set out to.   In a recent blog-post, 

‘I did ALL that work and it went terribly wrong….., 

I interviewed women who shared experiences when race day was not as expected or planned.   

They share their experiences of what to do in the face of loss.   

The truth is girls are more resilient than these election results.   Girls will continue to be competitive and play hard.   It is our role as coaches to continue to teach, encourage and guide.   It is our job to teach them to be competitive in spite of defeat.  It is our role to show them that we do not always win the prize.   If we permit this election to be our barometer, we have failed the girls who look up to and learn from us.  

 

 

 

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Sprint for Spring

The Weekley YMCA is hosting Sprint for Spring, on 11 February 2017.  This event is part of the Y’s Annual Capital Campaign.  

 

The options for this race include a 5K Run/Walk, a 1K Kid’s Fun Run and 5K Family or Team of 4 (or more). 

 

MY GOAL:   Is to host a team of four or more.   We will train and compete together.   

JOIN:  #teammeg 

 

Posted in ambassador, coaching, coachingkids, commitment, community, gratitude, kidsinsport, running, seeyouathefinishline, training, trainingtogether, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gratitude

November is an interesting time of year.  It brings reflection, and gratitude challenges, and preparation for the insanity of the Christmas Holiday season.  I too have been reflecting recently on life, the past year, the coaching I do, and where this adventure will be taking me in the upcoming months and years.  As I have been reflecting, I am grateful.   The year started with a huge leap of FAITH as I was catapulted to Houston, TX, not knowing where exactly the path would take me.   And throughout the  course of the year, I have experienced successes and failures, learning from each, understanding that it is all growing pains.   The future is uncertain and unknown.   My role as Tri Coach at the Weekly YMCA continues to be undefined, as the position has evolved with the changes of administration.  And what the next several months will bring is UNKNOWN.  In fact, what tomorrow will bring is unknown. 

In this, I continue to trust that I will influence lives and empower individuals to pursue their dreams, in running, swimming, cycling and triathlon.  I will continue to grow as a coach, learning from each situation.   It is my goal to continue to learn the nuances of the sport and understand more about movement and athletic development to better assist the individuals I work with.  

As I am reflecting, I want to send a big thank you to my clients and athletes.  I have learned so much from you.  I know I have acted flaky, and not always delivered the highest quality programming that I could.  Whether laziness, or clear inability on my part,  I want to thank you for your patience and for your faith in me, your coach.  There are many decisions I would execute differently.   And many memories I embrace because I am your coach.  

I am further grateful for the resilience I have in my life and lifestyle to be able to move across country and create a new adventure, redefining me and my coaching.   It has been an interesting year, and as I define my goals in this realm, the adventure will continue. 

I am excited for the next year and what opportunities it will bring.   I have found renewed enthousiasm to network and participate in GAIN, and learn from the coaches that are found there.   I am challenged by the new learning opportunities I am seizing in the next year.  I am excited to be able to continue to coach you.  And I am looking forward to learning as I go.

In all of this, I want to express again how blessed I am to influence and learn from each of you.  

 

Thank you.

 

 

Posted in coaching, commitment, community, GAIN, gratitude, letting go, motivation, networking, preparation, risks, seeyouathefinishline, triathlon, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Run Fast, Eat Slow.

 

 

THIS JUST ARRIVED!!


I was introduced to this cookbook through a podcast by Another Mother Runner. I was impressed with the whole food choices. And after the podcast, ordered the book.

 

Run Fast, Eat Slow is an amazing cookbook, with simple recipes, using whole foods.

As I am flipping through the pages, I am excited to explore some of the creations on the pages of this cookbook— from whole roasted chicken, to Greek bison burgers, and wild salmon sweet potato cakes, each looks and sounds amazing. The authors also share recovery drinks as well as fueling shakes before or after training.

 

The book is written on the premise that processed foods are not providing the nutrients our bodies need.

 

I hope to share the various creations I prepare from this book.

 

Have you gotten your copy yet? Share your favorite recipes!!

 

Posted in coaching, coachingkids, commitment, cookbook, cycling, fuel for training, nutrition, planning your race, preparation, running, swimming, training, triathlon, wholefoods | Leave a comment