Championship Strategy/Roster Selection
23“The hardest part of coaching collegiate cycling is selecting the team that goes to nationals. It’s so hard to leave behind that kid that doesn’t make the cut.” Jim Young, Coach-Penn State University Cycling, multi-time National Champions
One of the most important strategies formulated by a team director is roster selection. Winning programs are created by champion riders. Champions associate with winning programs. Occasionally, a winner signs with a team as the lone star to upgrade a team culture. In general, this doesn’t last. A winning rider still needs winning structures as a launching pad to race wins. A winning rider needs other winners as teammates. Great teams don’t require as much motivation because its great riders are already motivated. Great teams instead need leadership capable of making tough choices – facing brutal facts – and having exceptional faith – possessing vision.
Rosters evaluated per season and per goal must fit with team mission; but another 24commonality in great organizations, ones that outperform competitors, is that mission is formulated with personnel in place, not prior. In other words, great organizations get the right people on the bus before they figure out where to drive it.
In cycling terms, this means that great teams decide goal events based on rider capability. Too often in cycling, we see team goals formulated before riders are chosen. Frequently, the goals are never met because the wrong people were on the bus for that destination or more kindly, the wrong destination was chosen to serve those riders. Once rider capabilities are realistically assessed, choosing which riders go where then becomes another series of critical decisions. Striving for excellence then involves coordination of individual goals and training programs with team targets and team periodization. More scheduling flexibility characterizes the great teams because a roster has more depth and breadth of talent – and everyone understands the destination.
Prayer for Roster Selection
“… no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” 251 Corinthians 12:25-26
We recognize that choices, which are exclusive, leave someone out. We pray for those left behind and ask for wisdom in selecting who goes.
Ponder Am I so focused on goals that I’m ignoring who is with me to accomplish them? Affirm I am selected for a unique mission. Watch as teams accomplish goals based on who is involved.
23Conversations with Coach Young. What’s remarkable about this streak of success is that this program is student-run and accomplished with little funding from the school. It competes with other schools whose cycling programs have budgets and resources with varsity status, recruiting, and paid management. Coach Young is a volunteer. Typically he’s “invisible” at races not drawing attention to himself but huddling in a stadium coat with a group of riders around him. He’s created a legacy of national and international stars who were grounded under his mentorship. He is the definition of Good-to-Great leadership, as defined by Jim Collins, as well as what was accomplished based on amount of resources.
24This concept is from Good to Great by Jim Collins published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc., NY Copyright © 2001 by Jim Collins.
25The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society