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Chula Vista Olympic Training Center: Day 3

I was lucky today In a few ways.

One: We had a clinic with (I think) the head of high performance coaching within the US Olympic Committee….I need to double check his title. His job: make sure the athletes, teams, coaches are performing at the best possible levels. He had just returned from Great Britain meeting with a member of Parlaiment to discuss what….high performance. Basically, picture someone that has made a life of studying what makes people, teams, governments, businesses, etc highly effective; highly effective in ways that make them outliers. He then takes what he learns, listens to coaches and teams and athletes and assists in making people/teams the best….like in a historical sense….like the best e.v.e.r. Here are a few take aways From a presentation titled “better”….about how to get “better”.

  1. Mind The Gap. There is a gap that divides yourself from somethings you want to become. Identify this gap, “mind the gap”; ignore the gap and mindlessly move towards your goal and you will likely fail. Ask yourself: what is most important to getting better. Then throw out anything that is not important. Be systematic about understanding what is most important.
  2. Blooming in Death Valley: in 2004?, Death Valley received 7″ of rain. It never rains there. After the rain, the most spectacular thing happened: flowers bloomed everywhere. There was life in Death Valley. So Death Valleyreally isn’t dead then is it. It is Dormant Valley”. What can we learn? People, teams, athletes, governments, businesses, relationships can be dormant as well. If the environment can change in the correct way, champions can grow organically. In relation to what I am learning here at the OTC, champions are made, not born. Today’s training, in part, was focused on what Coaches need to do to create an environment where people can bloom into World class champions.
  3. Talent Code: Ok, this lesson was from another clinic with Coach Jim White and involves lessons from Daniel Coyle’s book, “Talent Code”. Champions are made, not born. Three ingredients that, in Coyle’s research are common threads to make a champion: Ignition: there has to be a deep, deep desire from the athlete to be the best because perseverance alone is omnipotent (Thanks Calvin Coolidge).

Two: deep practice. There must be consistent, mindful, hard, purposeful practice with a huge focus on basics/fundamentals. Three: a master coach, a guide, mentor, teacher – someone who is there to support.Two: we also did a lot of practical training and many aspects of my form are improving. I had two partners during one session of peer coaching (we actually got to shoot and be coached/practice coaching with our partners). It was great. Anyways, one of my partners is a Paralympian/World champion archer, Lee Ford. i was able to get some great feedback AND was even able to provide useful feedback for her……which was SUPER exciting.

Three: about four hours of today’s 13 hr day were spent on teaching the entire National Training System form in front of our peers (takes about 30-40 minutes). I love that type of training and miss that iterative process that was so common when I was a professional ski instructor (We had to teach I front of peers constantly and get feedback). Coach White led my group. I’m really enjoying the coaches at the OTC And will miss them. I feel very, very confident with my performance, got great feedback and am feeling like I found center last night during my time coaching. Written test is today and practical will be tomorrow. Bring it.

I leave you with one picture. A black sky with a small, small moon. This is a metaphor in my mind for getting better…for improving some aspect of your life. A metaphor for imagining yourself getting better in some small way each day with a specific outcome in mind. Peer into the blackness and pick one specific way to be better today.

On that note, I am going to go be a better student and hit the books.

Thanks for all your support,
Coach Kyle

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