By Bo Hanson – 4x Olympian, Coaching Consultant & Director of Athlete Assessments
How do teams or individual athletes come from behind to win? We’ve seen many spectacular examples of this in the past and a recent discussion with one of our client coaches was about this topic specifically. He is a college coach in the USA and their team, on two occasions this season had been well outside the likely range of winning, yet charged from behind to spectacular wins against the best competition in their competition. It got me thinking about the lessons we learn when we win and the lessons we learn when we do not get the result we want.
I recall during my rowing career the biggest lessons I learnt were from the defeats I endured. After a race result where we did not win, we would sit down and debrief our experiences and search for the answers as to “how” we created a non winning result. After some discussion, we always arrived at conclusions as to what we needed to do better in the next race and what training drills and technical adjustments would ensure we were back in the winner’s position. On the occasions where we won, it was rare our discussions would last longer than a few minutes. Simply we would reconfirm our efforts to keep pursuing the technical aspects we were already working on.
My point is that whether it is a win or a loss, there is just as much to take away as vital learnings. With either result, you created them and as such, it is critical to understand the “how” of the created results.
During my recent conversation with our coach client, we discussed what factors were contributing to his teams amazing come from behind victories. With such amazing strong finishes, certain psychological factors needed to be examined in more detail. For the team to win, they needed to make up a significant gap between them and the early leading teams. Each player had to play their very best and they did. How did they do it?
The individual details are irrelevant (and confidential) for this article and it is more important to make the point that the coach could identify the strengths and strategies for each player. What they did, obviously worked for them. Understanding what it was that worked for them, gives them the ability to recreate their best sports performance when it matters in the next tournament. If they spend no time analysing how they performed so well, then they do not create the links between what they think, felt and physically did which created their best sports performance. How each player created their best sports performance is unique to each player, just as their respective AthleteDISC profiles are unique.
In any great sports performance, the triad of thinking, feeling and physical actions will often be similar to the last great sports performance. This triad is actually your pattern or code of excellence and each person’s pattern or code is different. It takes time to understand what your unique code or pattern is, but when you have it worked out, it assures you of being able to create your best when it matters the most.
It took me almost three Olympics to work out my own code. Integral to understanding my code, was the theory behind the AthleteDISC (and CoachDISC) and in fact, this is what inspired me to pursue the work we do now. I became self-aware and by that I grew to understand what I needed to think (the words I needed to say to myself), how I needed to emotionally feel, and how I needed to physically be prior to and during a race. Once I cracked my code, I was able to replicate my best sports performance when I needed it.
At Athlete Assessments, we love working with coach clients to help them to help their athletes crack their sports performance code. The importance of sports profiling cannot be overstated for any coach or athlete aspiring to reach their potential – no matter what level of sport they are involved in. It bridges the gap between ‘good’ performances and ‘great’ ones; between ‘good luck’ performances and consistently top performances.
For more information or if you have any questions, contact us to find out how we can help you. If you want to know more about the AthleteDISC and CoachDISC profiles mentioned above, go to the pages specifically for athletes, for coaches and/or forperformance consultants.