Thriving or surviving


My feet are soaking wet, like squelchy wet and as I sit in the workshop listening to the brief on thriving and surviving I’m wondering which one I’m doing.

I’m sat in Loughborough university at a UK coaching seminar, our last national level event before the programme ends. The lecturer is talking and whilst I am listening, I’m also getting annoyed at a few other people because they are being annoying. How hard is it to sit still, not click your pen, not tap your fingers or your feet and why are you drinking your water so LOUDLY!?

I take a deep yoga breath and refocus.

Outside I can see it’s still raining, it’s not the biblical rain that occurred just as I stepped out of my car on arrival. It was a very long journey here, thanks to some idiots that decided to have a crash on the motorway, I’m running very close to being late. Apparently factoring in an hour for hold ups is not enough, so I can’t afford to sit in my car and wait it out, bugger.

We work in groups and discuss thriving and surviving in our own environments. It’s always quite interesting at these events, there are so many different sports in this room, yet we all seem to have the same issues. What there is in this room, lots of different experiences. There are a lot of people here with many years of experience, from all different walks of life and importantly, most people want to share.

We have several discussions about how we believe we can create a thriving atmosphere for athletes, the bottom line being what works for one doesn’t work for another, as with all things in life (especially yoga), be flexible!

After this, we venture outside again and head for lunch. It’s still raining and despite avoiding all puddles, my feet are soaking.

There is a colour coding food system here at the elite athlete centre, I did look at the system, but I opt for what looks the nicest, turkey bolognese and rice. Not sure what colour that was but it tasted pretty nice.

Lunch complete we then have small group discussions on ways to simulate the same pressures in training that you face in competition. We all agree this is never going to happen exactly but you can get close by trying different things. Again, what works for one person won’t work for another, it’s about finding out what is important for that individual and knowing how to get the best from them in stressful situations. I do have some new ideas I will try out when I can.

Back to the stadium for a case study on applied sports psychology.

To be honest I didn’t know what this was about at the start, we watched a role play of a sport coach and psychologist discuss an athlete and the issues they have. We then worked in small groups and we try and figure out what the best course of action is. Important to stick to the facts here, if you don’t know, don’t make stuff up. Good policy for life really.

This session complete we have some reflection time on the day. Time to make some notes on best bits of the day and what I can use to good effect when I leave. I normally find these are the best bits of the day, when you start writing stuff down you realise you learnt more than you thought!

Reflection is such a good learning tool

My notes complete, we say our goodbyes and head back to the motorways. I feel a little bit sad as it’s the last time we will all be together but I’m sure some of our paths will cross again.

Only 2 hours in the car for the journey back home, enough time for more reflection and problem solving in my head. More importantly, just enough time to dry out my trainers.