34“Managers, fans, press, everyone needs to look at what they ask of riders…If the peer pressure is to ‘get the job done’ because that’s the implicit message, it will get done – in a bad way. Don’t force athletes into decisions like that. Don’t force ethical people to make poor decisions. Instead allow for some humanity. Allow for ‘we did our best.’”
Jonathan Vaughters, Pro Team Management
Winning professional sports franchises are characterized by unified purpose and teamwork among owner, general management, team director, and coaches/trainers. When strong riders are professionally coached, properly directed, and free of the details of management, the road before them seems flat and limitless. In addition, a consistent, cohesive philosophy by the team’s owner adds a tailwind to rider success. An owner needs to set the pace from the top down, allow management to administrate and a director to call the front-line shots. Also essential is bringing a performance director or coaches/trainers into the process of determining group periodization compatible with team goals and culture. Conversely, top pace setters of team management are influenced by each man in the rotation when individual rider development is reinforced. In this way, fluidity of issues, ideas, and solutions flows back and forth yet with an ultimate accountability by ownership. Time and again, I’ve seen this hierarchy disrespected, always to the detriment of the riders. Problems are felt by the rider if management is in the way of a coaching or directing decision or if mistrust misaligns hierarchy of roles or duties. One example is of an owner threatened by the celebrity of the director who reduced his team’s success by hiring a kowtow replacement. Ultimately, this director was unable to consolidate the team’s interest because a bully squad of riders pushed a self-interested agenda. Even the best champions need the strong handed guidance of an objective leader backed by the top. Top management in pro cycling need assertive moral courage in these times and hence our prayers.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” 35Romans 12:2
Prayer for General Management/Ownership
We marvel at the brave few who attempt the awesome task of organizational development in pro cycling. We confess we sometimes cave to public opinion. We ask for courage to change pace.
Ponder Am I respecting the roles of others? Affirm I can renew my mind for positive change in cycling. Watch original action follow righteous thoughts.
34“Vaughters asks all for a change in mentality,” By Anthony Tan in “An Interview with Jonathan Vaughters,” November 28, 2006 http://www.cyclingnews.com
35The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson.
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