Dirty big waves, turning up, bluffing and setting standards

sent by Nick Grantham | 9th February 2021

"Once you experience one dirty great big wave, when you see one coming again, you know it's only like the last one."

Frank Rothwell

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Just before Christmas, I was watching a news report about an old boy who would attempt to row solo across the Atlantic. Fair play, I thought. On Saturday, I watched the morning news before heading off to work, and Frank Rothwell popped up on the news again. This time he was about 18 miles from Antigua (the finish line!!!). He'd only gone and bloody done it, and in record time too! During the interview, he was asked if he was ever scared by the giant waves. In a broad no-nonsense Yorkshire accent, ?he said, "Once you experience one dirty great big wave, when you see one coming again, you know it's only like the last one." I thought what Frank said was bloody brilliant and very timely. There seem to be dirty great big waves washing over us at the moment, but we've all been soaked by them before, so we know how to deal with them, and it's not as bad as we first thought.

Source: Frank Rothwell - Atlantic Rower

"You brought the hotel onto the floor."

Bill Beswick

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In 2013 I had the pleasure of working alongside Bill Beswick. Bill had been brought into the support team to work with the players and coaching staff. Midway through a tough training camp, the players headed out for another training session. They made their usual short walk over from the hotel to the training venue. You could sense that the general mood was low, and the energy in the group was on the floor. The training session that followed was predictably bang average. Bill spoke to the players at the end of the session and said, "you brought the hotel onto the floor (basketball court)." It's OK to relax in the hotel, take it easy, but once you've crossed the white line to train, you need to leave all that other stuff behind, concentrate and deliver. How many times do you 'bring the hotel onto the floor". We all have a lot going on in our life, and it's not always as perfect as our 'insta-life' would suggest. But, there are times when regardless of what's going on, you turn up and deliver.

Source: Bill Beswick

"Act weak when strong, act strong when weak. Know when to bluff."

Tony Hsieh

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When I stepped onto the training pitch to take my first session with an international football team, it was, in fact, the first time I had ever taken an entire training session with any professional football team, let alone a team preparing to compete in a major international tournament. I was bricking it! ?Time to act strong! During a basketball training camp, the coach asked me to observe a speed and agility session he had been using with his domestic team for the past 12-months. At the end of training, he suggested it would be a good session for me to use with the team. It was the same session I had first shown him 12-months earlier during our last training camp! Time to act weak!

Source: Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

"Modelling behaviour is more potent than telling someone to act differently."

James Clear

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I'm not a huge fan of posting rules and regulations up on the walls of the gym. I don't think fines are an effective way to change athlete behaviour. I'm reluctant to make strength sessions compulsory. It's not because I'm a pushover or want to avoid conflict (well, I want to avoid unnecessary conflict). I just think that as James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, suggests, it's better to create an environment that encourages the behaviours you feel are essential. I believe that the other coaches and I can model the behaviours we want to see. The athletes themselves can do the same, and it will send a much stronger message to their teammates than me slapping them with a fine. Establishing normative behaviours is a much more robust approach than telling someone to act differently. Our children follow our example as parents. Our teammates match the competitive energy of one another. Our colleagues learn to manage like their boss. If we embody the standard, others will follow

Source: James Clear 3-2-1 Newsletter 24.12.20 by James Clear

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