Sunday Summary 17 July 2022

Top Threads

  1. Conor Harris’ active release thread for hip region tightness
  2. Additional Tips on the SART (original blog on dynamic loading)
  3. Coaching people (like me) who already know how to train
  4. My current loading hierarchy
  5. Progressive incline treadmill test with lactate

Workouts & Working Out

High-Performance Habits

Coaching Elite Performers

Rolling strong at the swim meet

A coach is someone who can offer correction without causing resentment

– John wooden

When I notice someone has been triggered, I stop.

My life goals do not require me to change other people.

Inverting, being prickly reduces the world’s ability to help us out.


If you struggle to learn from experience then ASK…

  • What is it going to take for me to trust the process?
  • What is it going to take for me to trust the coach?

For me, It was watching Nils & Johan take everything I learned about sport and make it better. I wanted to take my knowledge to the next level.

In February, one small choice by Johan, set off of positive chain that brought us together.



What’s it going to take for you?

If you have no idea then that’s OK!

Think back, who gets through to me, without resentment?

Combine with goals & VALUES alignment, and you have the ingredients for a valuable long-term relationship.

  • My marriage
  • My investment committee
  • My close friends
  • My board

All contain people who are able to get through to me. I am surrounded by elite coaches.

In our lives, we will come across people who have the capacity to make us want to improve, and the vision to make incremental suggestions that we can implement.

Pay attention when you feel their positive influence.


Johan’s 2022 Scorecard

Each adjustment, I had been unable to implement previously.

Inside, I feel like I volunteered for all of them.

And I did.

But someone was the catalyst.

Share your story => someone needs to hear it.

How To Build A Summer Training Program for Fit Teens and Athletic Kids

“Yes, Sweetie, that’s me”

Last month, my daughter was asked:

Do you have a Dad?

In Boulder, that’s a loaded question.

She smiled and said, “Yes, I have a Dad.”


The question has come up before.

I stay invisible around my kids’ sports.

I do this with intention.

I want them…

  • to be INTERNALLY motivated
  • to keep our RELATIONSHIP separate from their athletic success, or otherwise
  • to INTERACT with them – I’m a player, not a spectator

Living in a town that places excessive glory on sport, my actions:

  1. Support Internal Motivation
  2. Lower Athletic Stakes
  3. Focus on Shared Experiences

My daughter put me in a bind when she asked me to coach her.


Top Five Hug, all-time, right there

Remember my advice to place the RELATIONSHIP ahead of performance

In January, we started a simple program – 20 minutes, done every Sunday, I’m not in the room

This went well – she loved it

For the summer, I asked myself…

What do we want to achieve?

  • For next season => get off the wall FAST
  • Over the next 1,000 days => set up capacity to go heavy at 16 yo

I came up with three 20-minute sessions per week:

  1. Continue the dryland program
  2. Street sprints
  3. Gym skill development & personal limiter mobility work

Let’s look at each

DRYLAND => keep what’s working, an all-around program she enjoys => good enough


Uphill is an effective place to coach speedy run form
AND
Bio-mechanically safer than other alternatives

SPRINTS => to get her off the wall FAST => choose an activity with close to max lower body recruitment

Uphill, street sprints – with casual walk downs

This tweet from Gerry explains more – it was a reminder of techniques we used in New Zealand.

Review & consider Gerry’s graphics – Hierarchy of Sports Performance and Motor Unit Recruitment

To set up the street sprints, she’s doing intramural track right now.


What’s your pleasure?
80#, 60# and 15#

SKILLS => with ~8 swims a week, street sprints and dryland… plenty of load.

A 1:1 session gives me a chance to assess her fatigue while teaching:

  • Squat Variations
  • Cleans (I have a 20# “kid” bar)
  • Sandbag Variations (I have a 15# “kid” bag)
  • Hip flexor openings
  • Eccentric rehab techniques

Let’s pull together the key points:

  • KEEP what works
    • maintain the sport-specific schedule from last summer
    • her load is increasing naturally by getting faster
    • she’s enjoying the 20-minute dryland from YouTube
  • Train general SKILLS – often missed at the sport-specific level
  • PICK ONE thing that would make a difference
  • RAMP LOAD GRADUALLY

Be patient – three summers until she’s 16.

As AC/DC remind us, it is a long way to the top (if you wanna to rock ‘n’ roll).

🤟

Live Like A Billionaire – Student to Teacher

Unexpected mid-week power day.
It’s hard to put a value on the ability to “drop everything”.

What does the title of this piece bring to mind?

  • Jet?
  • Multiple properties?
  • Luxury yacht charters?
  • Seven-figure burn rate?
  • Handing out favors to friends and strangers?
  • Being hailed and feted?

One of the best parts of my coaching journey was getting to know “the well adjusted rich.”

I’m going to spend a few Thursdays running through the lessons I learned from watching people who have a different set of limits.


The Best Teachers You Can Find

My journey started ten years before I got the job.

First, I was a student…

Meeting Joe Friel: Joe is the founder of triathlon coaching in the United States. I had the chance to spend a weekend with him in the Spring of 2000.

By the way, this is how you might get a mentor interested in you…

  • I went to him
  • I showed him how he’d helped me
  • I listened to his advice
  • I went away and did it

Something he said stuck with me, “I’d never met someone who understood my teaching as well as you.” I didn’t just study his philosophy, I tried to embody it.

Joe started me as a coach, helped me win races and wrote a book with me.

Great deal for both of us.

The strategy worked once, so I repeated…

John Hellemans, Scott Molina, Dave Scott, Mark Allen => I was able to learn from the best.

I shared what I learned, for free, widely.


Eventually, I was a teacher…

A decade later, I turn up in Oceanside, on a road bike, in March, and crush most everyone over 40 in a 70.3 race.

Two guys, I’d never heard of, reach out for a call and I accept. I didn’t know they were friends and checking me out, separately.

I get hired and have the chance to look under the hood of the well-adjusted rich.

Turns out my client was a successful finance-guy, who stayed in the game.

His life was, and remains, the best-case scenario of a life I decided not to lead.

Becoming world-class, publicly, creates unexpected opportunities.


Let’s call this Chapter One.

If you’ve been watching me on Twitter – you can see I’m following a similar playbook in 2022.

Not towards any specific goal => simply to connect, be engaged and create unexpected opportunities.

Five Questions Every Coach Needs To Ask Themselves

Let’s cast our minds back to my 30-something self.

He’s bought a house in Christchurch, covered his taxes/utilities by giving a room to his property manager and has the ability to live free by renting out additional rooms.

Create a base of operations where you can live for free

Tick


Next up, he needs to figure out what sort of work to do and how to cover his cost of living.

A dozen triathlon coaching relationships (US$250) per month was what it took to cover basics. Those relationships were worth more than money. The relationships made his lifestyle sustainable.

Tick


Basic client filtering over time.

Which relationships to strengthen and retain? Green light client rating – immediate response, has all personal contact details. Travel to them.

Invert, which relationships are a source of distraction and drain energy? Red light client rating – still high service level, hand-off to a better fit at a natural breakpoint (end of season, end of project).


Move on to…

Next level client selection because => there is a limited number of close relationships we can sustain

What do I want to learn about?

  • Pro cycling
  • Lifestyles of the rich and famous
  • Olympic level triathlon
  • Sports medicine, orthopedics, biomechanics, kidney function, cardiology
  • Exercise physiology, metabolic health, blood markers
  • Financial planning
  • Military aviation
  • Theology and ministry
  • Addiction, Al-Anon, AA, recovery
  • Trust, estate and family law

These are areas I was able to study, from world-class experts, while covering my core cost of living.

Put another way, there are millions of interesting people out there. A consultant needs 5-12 relationships for a viable business. Craft those relationships with intent because your time is worth more than someone’s ability to pay.

Wise client selection is a game of getting paid to learn.

…but you gotta be lifestyle sustainable. So get that first!


Where do I want to visit?

Back in 2000, Christchurch NZ was cheap for a reason. It was far off the beaten path!

A material slice of my cost of living was international travel (airfares & hotels). I really enjoyed this aspect of my life.

I’m not alone. A key form of marketing is the ability to offer clients/investors the ability to travel to nice places. Most large companies have advisory boards, with a membership consisting of their key relationships. The advisory board has the perks of being a director, with none of the fiduciary risk.

I’ve had gigs in: Aspen, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Scotland, LA, Italy, London, Dubai, Paris, Cannes, Hawaii…

So, where do YOU want to go? Find that client, help them achieve their goals and undercharge them.

Rich folks love random acts of financial kindness. They’re always expected to pick up the tab, so paying for coffee/breakfast is a high-return investment.

A long term value added relationship with someone in a place you enjoy visiting – it’s worth more than whatever your financial deal is.

Invert (again) => don’t take work from a location you don’t want to visit. At any price.

One of my gigs came with an around-the-world ticket every six months. With a bit of planning, that covered an entire year’s worth of air travel. Another slice of my budget, covered.


What demographic am I curious about?

Tim’s blog on fame shares the Bill Murray quote, “trying being rich first.”

Actually, being rich is tough. It takes a lot of time and striving. Living rich is even worse, not for me.

Before you try to “be something” => get to know it. See what it’s like when nobody’s watching.

Coaching the rich, the fast, the famous, the savage, the beautiful… and paying attention, helped me look under-the-hood with regard to my values.

Be careful, desire is contagious.

Teaching About Teachers


My daughter is at the age where she’s able to articulate two things about grown-ups.

1/. We can be caught doing something different than we say.

2/. We often talk about things we don’t know very well.

This gave me an opening to pass along my principles about teachers, BS and integrity.


Step back from the teacher.

What’s your goal with learning?

My goal is to implement the best ideas from experts with specific domain experience.

Implement.

Put another way => pay careful attention to the best ideas from people who have done, repeatedly, what you would like to do… …pick one idea… do it… repeat.

Sounds easy, it is not.

My mind always wants to engage in debate, to point out flaws, to distract itself from what matters => one good idea, implemented in my own life, over and over and over.

Another risk: once I become an expert in one area, I think I know about everything!

I need to change my advisers as I change domains.

AND

I need to stay humble about my current knowledge. The example I use with my daughter is the “hotshot 12 yo athlete.” Fun at the time but the game still has 50+ years to play out!


Know your role.

The student’s role is not to engage. Take the ideas, and implement.

Gain enough experience to be considered a peer, then we can have a discussion.

In doing, you might discover that one-on-one engagement isn’t a productive use of your time! Why do you think I have a blog… 😉

Many great teachers have lives that are a mess. Remember, it is not the student’s job to sort the teacher. Our job is to implement the best ideas of the teacher.

Sometimes the best idea is to see the teacher’s strategy won’t work for where we want to take our lives.

I’ll give you an example, in sport. In my early 40s, with a young family, I took a deep look at the family lives of my peers and competitors. By this stage, I had a very good idea of what was required to excel at athletics. By looking around, I was able to see that athletic excellence was likely to take me somewhere I didn’t want to go.

A decade earlier, it was the same deal with finance. I got a look under the hood of the lives of the very best, and decided I wanted a life that was different.

Athletic excellence, nope. Financial excellence, nope. Excellence to my spouse and kids => a better fit.

Not easy, not always fun, usual better!

I’ve spotted, and hopefully avoided, a few dead ends => seeing where my actions were likely to take me.


A helpful teacher is someone with a good idea that I can implement. The opportunity to learn is everywhere – keep your eyes open!

A coach, or mentor, is something different. This individual has a system for living that we can emulate. This goes further than useful tips we can apply. A mentor is an individual with a values system we can apply to improve all aspects of our lives.

Mentors share the same risks with regard to venturing beyond their area of expertise, but you’ll find they have much better alignment between what they say and what they do.

In fact, your ability to notice a misalignment between word, and deed, is a useful tool. When you detect a misalignment, you’re probably in a student:teacher relationship rather than working with someone you want to emulate.


Take all that energy you have… the energy to correct others….

…and apply it in your own life.

Make a habit of implementing the best advice of others, and do what you say!

Your life only needs to make sense to you.

Coaching Anxiety

A desire to achieve can be a powerful incentive to overcome ourselves. My son’s quest for his school’s beep-test record has taught him a lot about human nature in group situations.

Sport is a wonderful place to equip ourselves with skills we can use in our daily lives. I’m going to take another swing at sharing some ideas about anxiety.

First up, the feelings most of us label “anxiety” are useful. They are not a problem to be removed and anxious people aren’t flawed. In my life, these feelings provide little nudges towards better.

When might my emotional state become an issue? When I make quick decisions based on unlikely fears.


I was chatting about this with one of my kids and they stated flatly, “I’m never anxious.” I smiled because this kid has some of the highest baseline anxiety I’ve seen. However, like many of us, they do an excellent job of living with it.

We were on a chair lift. About four towers out they started to get twitchy about raising the bar. This rapidly progressed to mild hysteria, “we are going to get caught and hurt!!!” After we got off, safely, it gave me a chance to introduce the concept of being worried about a future that might never materialize.

The feared future can be adaptive => better behavior nudged by a fear of getting caught.

It can make us miserable => fear of loss, resulting in never taking a chance on improving one’s life.

It can cost us money => fear-based selling in the face of price-volatility

Body composition, friendships, portfolios, marriage, business relationships… all are damaged when we train rapid action based on our fears.


How might we use sport to build useful emotional skills?

Don’t train the startle reflex => endurance sport is filled with opportunities to notice, rather than act on, our instincts. ALL our deepest habits come to the surface in the face of competition and fatigue.

With my athletes, we’d start with bike pacing, and using their powermeter to give them visual feedback (when they had lost their minds!).

We’d progress to getting bumped while swimming, holding personal pace in groups and, finally, letting other people make mistakes.

Letting other people make mistakes => letting others deal with the consequences of their actions

…this habit leads naturally towards “let it go.”

On the bike, in a race, on a zoom call, at the meal table… notice when the startle reflex is triggered and pause.


As a father and husband, my victories are invisible.

Conflicts not triggered, confidence not damaged, relationships strengthened by not-acting on my fears.

Notice, then let it go.

Fathers and Sons – Mountain Leadership

2019-10-26 12.13.28

An unfortunate reality…

Most educators spend more time with other people’s children than their own.

As a student, and parent, this has worked out very well for me. I’m grateful for our teachers, mentors and coaches.

2019-09-13 14.44.34

Last season, I spent a lot of time in Vail and noticed a gap between Vail Resort’s youtube clips and my actual experience with their first responders. I’ve been considering, “What are the qualities required to lead in the mountains?”

This season, there’s a new boss for Vail. She’s done fantastic work at Beaver Creek and I’m sure her team will sort it out. Everyone looked super-peppy during opening week. Maybe the grumpy guys retired?!

I spent months mentally rehashing my letter to the new boss. Gradually, I turned my “you could be so much more” mojo inwards, towards making myself a better father.

2015-03-18 07.31.56

Since my son could stand up, he’s been passionate about heading uphill. I figured it would take me a decade to get him up to speed. I underestimated the guy and we’ve had a lot of fun over the last year, skiing, camping and hiking.

My son has been eating up The Way of the Warrior Kid. There’s an unexpected overlap between the Code of The Warrior Kid and what he learned at his Buddhist preschool. The code fits with what I’m seeking to achieve in my own life.

2016-09-18-18-01-09

So that got me thinking… rather than figuring out how to fix grumpy ski-patrollers, why don’t we train ourselves to be the change.

  • The best memories of my life (and my son’s) are in the mountains
  • It’s a project we can enjoy for many years
  • It’s a beautiful legacy to leave him
  • It’s local
  • There’s no judges, tournaments, competitions or rankings
  • It provides huge motivation for me to stay in the game

2019-07-16 08.01.59

What would our code look like? Here’s a draft and we can make it our own over the next few years.

  • Fit For Purpose => strong, durable, resilient
  • Skilled => able to get where we need to be, in any conditions
  • Peer, Teacher & Student => learn from the experienced, share our knowledge and work with others
  • Prudent => pause and consider consequences
  • Prepared => we carry extra so we can help others
  • Calm, Humble and Patient => Knowing I need much more of this at home, I will practice it in my favorite environment. These traits are also on my (hotshot) son’s “to do” list.

The lesson here isn’t about the mountains.

The mountains are our story.

The lesson is to pay attention to passion and use childhood interests to create a value system for navigating the world.

Let’s fill the world with positive memories for our children.

Correction Without Resentment

2015-04-01 16.55.13

A coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment.

— John Wooden

Coach Wooden hits the nail on the head. Looking deeper, I ask myself, as the corrector, “What am I seeking to achieve here?”

Constant correction, mostly non-verbalized, floats through my head.

Criticism, dissatisfaction, endless tweaking and optimization… what purpose does it serve?

What is the source of this correction?

  • Is it habit?
  • Is it altruism?
  • Is it a desire to alleviate the pain I see from watching you suffer?

Too often, my correction-by-habit makes my family suffer.

Sit quietly in a room full of children. Notice two things…

  • How little the master teachers correct.
  • How much the novice parents correct.

The frazzled parents beg for the children to listen.

When I catch myself, I slow down to see if the situation will resolve itself.

It’s humbling to realize how much of the distraction I create by hurrying.

How do the masters get through to us…

  • Fix myself first
  • Shared laughter
  • Wait until asked
  • Keep it short

When I am tempted to carpet bomb my Facebook feed, I remind myself that the world is filled with good people, particularly in the homes of my enemies. What might those good people need from me?

Share a laugh, keep it short and remember…

…the important stuff happens under my own roof.

What is your value added – Streamlining low-value busy-work

ax_valThis was a coaching question but it applies to anyone with a boss, client, student or colleague.

Novice coaches often mistake inefficiencies with dedication.

Spending hours, upon hours, on administration and busy-work that add very little value to their client, or boss.

Specifically, there is a reluctance to use templates and recycle work. In fact, they think that anything not built from scratch is cheating.

Under what conditions are templates cheating?

  • don’t work
  • not fun
  • lower compliance
  • fail to meet goals

What to do?

  • Aim towards continual efficiency improvements at what you do
  • Save your work – you have limited number of keystrokes in your life
  • Check with bosses, supervisors and clients on what they value – so you can work on the right things!
  • Pay attention to what limits your performance and enjoyment – admin will make you miserable, especially when it can be avoided
  • Notice, and keep, what works
  • The cost of (an inefficient) status quo is hidden
  • Frequently pause and ask… What is important now?

As an advisor, remember that performance is driven by behavior, not protocol – the best protocol is the one that motivates effective behavior.

Personal inefficiencies don’t motivate effective behavior in others.

What are your most effective behaviors?

Be the brand.

Keep it simple.