Archive for June 6, 2009

Championship Psychology/Realism

Posted in Championship Psychology on June 6, 2009 by bethleasure
Becky Conzelman was a truth seeker

Becky Conzelman was a truth *seeker

Brutal Facts

32“The hard reality of top sport…” Dutch Judge’s ruling re: a rider contract dispute

One surprising trend discovered in 33recent organizational research on what it takes to sustain greatness is the necessity of embracing paradox. The scholar refers to this as the “Genius of AND.” One such paradox embraced by the great is: face brutal facts AND have faith that the best is yet to come. The great ones don’t shy away from facing the brutal facts; in fact, they run right into reality and continue to face it as they work and believe in a better future.

A culture of discipline maintains staunch adherence to facing the realities of current performance while a clearly defined purpose guides what to do with those realities. Cycling for many is not about facing reality. Many participate in order to manage stress from other realities in life. A professional doesn’t have this luxury, and lower-level pro racing is rife with truth-dodgers. These are the guys who year after year accomplish little more than aging and do so mainly with self in mind. Youthful years that could be focused on other areas of life pursuing another unique greatness with larger influence is instead pedaled away on the cranks of irresponsibility. Not that mediocrity in bike racing and meandering through life don’t have value for a time but this profile of rider isn’t at the head of the race or the roster.

A champion is looking at all the facts all the time and adjusting, improving, tweaking, stretching. Limits are analyzed critically and goals adjusted accordingly. If performance doesn’t bear out the goals, either different goals are set or new strategies are employed. Little time is wasted on mystical methods of achievement. A mindset that accepts reality in all its glorious hardness is able to suffer in that winning 10th Percentile. Realistic winners know they belong there. Champions are utilizing hard feedback because they know that nurturing the truth saves AND rewards.

Prayer for Realism

“…to understand what life means and where it’s going… and give…a grasp on reality…to learn fresh wisdom to probe and penetrate…” 34Proverbs 1:1-3 

We are grateful for data AND determination. We pray for courage to probe facts AND penetrate faith. We ask for help in viewing limits and what to do with the knowledge gained. 

Ponder Are my cycling goals indicating that I’m in a dream world? strong>Affirm I act in cooperation with reality. Watch especially what’s difficult for clues about championship considerations.

32″Hard reality for Veneberg,” Latest Cycling News for December 5, 2007

33The “Genius of AND” is another concept from Good to Great by Jim Collins published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc., NY Copyright © 2001 by Jim Collins. Collins cites James Stockdale’s philosophy. Stockdale has been referenced in other end notes as a POW from Vietnam. Collins based this concept on something Stockdale said in conversation that Collins dubbed the “Stockdale Paradox.” It’s worth reading this book and Stockdale’s books for incredible inspiration toward championship thinking and endeavor. Both camps outline the hardships associated with true greatness.

34The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


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