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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Would you make the team ?

When I was a teenager I played a lot of team sports - specifically cricket.  The cricket season meant a consistent pattern each week - practise with the team 2-3 times, practise by myself and then play both days on the weekend.

Practise with the team meant a couple of things but one of the main goals was quite simple - impress the coach enough to get selected for the team.  Show them not only your technical skill but your attitude and enthusiasm.  I used to look for Friday's paper excited to see whether I had been selected.

After cricket I moved to martial arts.  Martial arts is much more like triathlon - you train each week and then periodically there is a test of what you had learnt.  These tests for the higher ranks could be years apart.  There was no weekly team, no one really cared if you turned up or not.  Training was more about the process (and perfection) and is why I have the Japanese symbol Keizen on my left ankle.  Keizen means "Always Moving Forward" and the left side of the body, in Martial Arts, is the spiritual side.

For some people that come from team sports this difference in mentality - of not being 'selected' each week is a very different mindset.  The triathlon equivalent of a Martial Arts grading is obviously a race but these can seem a long way off (fortunately not years like in Martial Arts but in the case of a bad injury this may even be the case).

The trick is to treat each training week as a match week.  Have you done enough so that the coach will 'select' you ?.  Have you trained consistently - have you demonstrated the right attitude and enthusiasm for the game that would make the coach want you on the team.  Think back to your team sport and remember the feeling of making the team or missing out.

For people coming from team sports like Cricket and Football this change of mindset can make a big difference.  Make one day of the week 'selection day' - take a step back and give your training week a score out of 10 and ask yourself...

Would you make the team this week ?.  

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