Friday, June 11, 2004 - Coaching
Haywood Report: Thoughts from Camp…

- By: Mike Cavaliere

www.haywood.com

During the weekend of June 4-6, George Grey and I assisted Cross Country British Columbia with their spring development camp for 55 aspiring ski racers, and as always I learned a great deal more about sport and gained further insight into my coaching style. Here is a summary of lessons learned:

Dr. David Cox, a psychologist from Simon Fraser University, presented a very intriguing talk to the team and some of his key points made me think a lot about my coaching style.

“10,000 hours to excellence” – while I believe we have one of the best training structures in the world, I realized our weakness is lack of patience, as some one once told me “we train in the morning and want the result in the afternoon”. Think of the commitment it takes to accomplish such a feat as quoted above, the “obsessive attention to detail” – “do everything well and leave nothing to chance”.

Great people are: “People who handle less than ideal situations the best” - isn’t this true? Let’s face it, this is a skill we all need to work on daily. He also mentioned later in his talk that your “emotions will either serve you or destroy you”.

One of Dr. Cox’s other staggering realizations was that at the elite level in sport 85% is mental and 15 % physical. The psychological element of your game is often neglected! I have never seen an athlete balk at training, but working on their mental outlook conjures negative images, and it shouldn’t. “Mental + Technical + Physical = Outcome”.

* * * * * *

I would like to reiterate an age old theory that I believe is still alive and well – desire/commitment/hard work still rule the world of sport. While there always appears to be a new magic bullet out there, nothing can replace desire to be good. Although I haven’t seen the video on Jungle Jim Hunter I have heard the message, and it should be the basis for promoting what is truly important. You can be good if you so choose and you can make the best of any situation.

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NST Team update:

June 21/23/24 VO2 + Critical Speed + Uphill test
June 28th start of our first Haig cycle 2 days of skiing followed by some dates with the treadmill.

Hope your summer training is going well, and we will keep you posted.

Mike Cavaliere, Senior Team Coach

Editors Note:  Mike has been Senior Team coach for two years.  Along with the other NST coaches he is actively involved with "coaching outreach programs" with many division and clubs programs during the summer and fall training periods.  For more information contact the Canmore Office.

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Source: Cross Country Canada


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