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By Scotty Farrell, Co-Head Coach
What are we looking for in our athletes?
Photo credit - Trail Runner Mama
We don’t just work with any athlete here at T:Zero. In fact we only work with a select group of individuals. However, before you go thinking we are elitist, let me explain a little more about who it is we work with and why this is the case.
Some of the attributes we look for in an athlete are:
I’m sure from the above attributes you can paint a pretty good picture of who it is we desire to work with. But why do we look for these attributes in a person?
As coaches, we embody these attributes and believe that success in life is the sum of many parts. We could choose to take on anybody and have a massive stable of athletes all having a great time, ticking off races and collecting medals (not that we are averse to having a good time of course). We are in the business of getting results, whether a person’s goals are to finish their first Ironman or take their racing to the next level, we believe we have the coaching philosophy and possess the same above attributes as both coaches and athletes ourselves. That’s why we choose to work with athletes with the above attributes and that’s why we get results.
As an example (one of many), I recently took on an athlete 12 weeks out from an ironman. FYI, this is not something we normally do as coaches at T:Zero. Generally if an athlete wants us to help them tick of a goal, we look long term eg.12 months, often two years. Any successful person knows that results come from years of hard work rather than a 12 week generic stint. I digress, back to my athlete… I took, let’s call her Chloe as that’s her name ;-), on only because when I met with her, I saw the above attributes in her and she has a long term approach to her goals. I could list all the attributes I saw in her and I am sure (without sounding pompous) she would probably say the same in return- there has to be a fit- no I in team right!? As it turns out, Chloe has now been with me at T:Zero for 14 weeks and currently we are two weeks post said Ironman. I had the pleasure of being at the race recently up in Cairns where T:Zero had 22 athletes racing across the two events. Aside from the whole weekend being a massive highlight for me to be there with all our athletes, a major high point for me was seeing her cross the line in a smidgen under 12 hours and notch a PB time. Here’s how the end of Chloe’s day played out for me:
Coach Rich and I were sitting out on course at about the 1.5km from the finish, scrolling through the tracker and trying to figure out where our athletes were. I did some rough maths and worked out that if she (Chloe) ran her last km at under 6min/km pace, she would be in with a chance of going under 12 hours! She ran past with her usual smile and I let her be, as not everyone likes being harassed (in the most positive way possible of course) while they’re in the throws of finishing an Ironman. I debated with Rich, then took off after her to give her the time check news. Turns out she liked the sound of that little challenge and put the afterburners on. Running adjacent to Chloe in the bleachers, I would pop out every now and then and give her a cheer then disappear again, like a ninja ;-). I made it to the finish line right on time to see Chloe cross the line in 11.59 and change. What a great moment for her and a pretty special moment for a coach.
There have been many of these moments in my time as a coach, and I am sure there will be many more as you will see if you follow our FB page weekly updates. What I really wanted you to get out of this blog is that we don’t want athletes based purely on their ability level, we want to attract athletes that possess those above attributes, and more importantly in this point in case... ‘passion’ for the sport. Tied together of course with willpower and a burning desire to improve and achieve. When a coach and athlete find this, it’s a match made in triathlon heaven!
To read about more about Chloe’s day at Ironman Cairns… click here!
Until next time… train smart and live fully!