“DON’T POKE THE BEAR” – 12 TRASH-TALKING MISTAKES ATHLETES MAKE

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Trash-talking is an art, and the simple goal is to throw off rival opponents or teammates so that one can gain the upper hand. In your attempts to rattle your rival you may be successful. However, eventually the law of averages plays out and it will backfire.

What went wrong? You stayed up all night rehearsing exactly what to say. You went to bed dreaming of your “flawless” victory, and your rival wobbling with your words…

Instead they decimated you…

Enter the AthleteDISC

How well do you know your rival? The key is understanding what actually makes them tick. You must avoid motivating them and stirring up their strengths. The AthleteDISC behavior profile provides insight on the things you shouldn’t do.

In essence, don’t poke the bear.

Here are 12 Trash-Talking Mistakes that Athletes Make

“Don’t disturb the DRAGON”

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 With the AthleteDISC, “D” stands for Dominance and how we approach tasks. Athletes that are high “D” are very competitive, and lie in wait like sleeping dragons. You need to be careful in how you approach them:

1.  Do not give them direction

You may believe you are telling a high “D” what they can or cannot do. “You will not out sprint me!” or “You will not gain another yard.” Some people may suggest you are only ruining your own self-talk (because it affects you). In reality, you are basically telling a high “D” exactly how to beat you.

2. Do not “play the player”

With a high “D” don’t be cute, and change things up to try to throw off their game. High “D”’s will welcome this new stimulus because it will get their competitive blood pumping. They live to adapt, and if they see you trying something new, then their “killer” instincts will immediately respond.

3. Do not create a challenge for them

If your rival is a high “D” then they need to be challenged. Every day, every play. If you pose an impossible task (say…scoring 50 points) then they will scratch and claw to achieve it. Don’t underestimate them, because you may become another statistic.

“Don’t irk the IMPALA”

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“I” stands for Influence and how we interact with people. Athletes that are high “I” are the team cheerleaders, and enthusiastically follow their herd. Even Mufasa was no match for the Impala stampede:

4. Do not make it fun

In last week’s blog, I wrote about Cam Newton and the Super Bowl. It is a great example of what happens when you take away the high “I” fun factor. Athletes that are high “I” love to compete because it is fun, and they enjoy the success of their teammates. If your rival remembers that competition is fun and they help and see their teammates enjoying themselves, then it is all over for you.

5. Do not rally the troops

High “I” athletes are the master motivators, because they play with their emotions. If you stir up their anger then they are going to stir up the hornet’s nest. They will rise to the occasion by delivering the most inspirational speeches you only see in the movies. You are in trouble.

6. Do not attack their family

“Yo mama” jokes or any type of family jokes may initially work with a high “I”. They will initially be distressed by you attacking the people they care about. However, eventually you will joke about someone they really love. Quips about their sick mother probably are not the best idea because they will strive to defend her honor and mop the floor with you.

“Don’t step on the STINGRAY”

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“S” stands for Steady and how approach the pace of our tasks. Athletes that are high “S” are patient, calm, and consistent. In reality they are “silent” assassins in the shallow depths:

7. Do not believe they are “soft”

High “S” athletes are very amicable. They seem friendly and they will nod and smile at your presence. You may believe that you have them worried because they do not seem competitive. Stay focused! Remember, they are showing you just enough cards to come over the top later on with that Ace on the River.

8. Do not be lulled to sleep

High “S” athletes are very calm. In fact, they are so calming they will make everyone around them relaxed. Even you. If you are a high “D” or high “I” athlete you must…stay energized… and engaged. Must…not be hypnotized by their calming…*yawn*… demeanor, otherwise they may *yawn*…put you to…sleeeep…zzzzzzzzzzzzz….

9. Do not try to outpace them

Athletes that are high “S” know exactly how much energy they have left. They have considered all variables down to the last second. If you try to pace with them and beat them at their own game, you’ll be sucking wind in the end. They aren’t training to beat you; they are training to beat themselves.

“Don’t challenge the CHIMP”

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“C” stands for Conscientious, and how we respond to the rules. Athletes that are high “C” are tactful and analytical chess players. This Caesar is ready to outwit, outplay, outlast…

10. Do not try to be strategic

Athletes that are high “C” are floor generals. If they have space and time to execute their battle plan then they already have the upper hand. If you try to be one step ahead, you will find yourself two steps behind.

11. Do not question their loyalty

High “C” athletes believe in a greater cause and mission. If you question their dedication and hard work, then your failure will become an integral part of that mission. You are only sharpening the edge they have over you.

12. Do not smile

High “C” athletes take this mission seriously. If you do not take your own mission seriously, or you say “It’s just a game” then they own you. You are not as dedicated as they are, and ultimate victory is within their grasp…

Moral of the Story

Be the BEAR

Poking the bear can be very dangerous to your game and your success. Eventually you will meet your match.

Understanding your rival begins with you understanding yourself. Instead of poking the bear, wouldn’t it be better to be the Bear?

You can be the Bear. Right now.

Sign up for RUFO OPTIMAL WORKOUTS® and you can receive a special code, when you get your own AthleteDISC or CoachDISC profile.

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For more information on Strength and Conditioning for rowing, rowing technique, Kettlebells, Clubbells, AthleteDISC, and the Process Communication Model® follow my blog or like me on Facebook at RUFO OPTIMAL WORKOUTS.

6 TRUTHS OF ACCOUNTABILITY

One of my greatest strengths is holding myself accountable for what I do as a fitness professional. It might be easy to make excuses for not completing something, however as I have gotten older I realize there really are not any good excuses.

I admit, I still struggle with this with my clients sometimes because I really want to be source of strength for them. I do not want to be just another person in their lives telling them what they are not doing.

Today is not that day. Today I would like you to hold yourself accountable.

Here are 6 Truths of Accountability:

1.  “BELIEVE IN YOUR MISSION”

What is your mission? It is one thing to tell everyone you are going to lose weight, you are going start exercising, you are going to win the Olympics. It is another thing to actually believe it. Do you believe what you are selling to yourself?

There are many distractions and doubts that will cause you to no longer believe in your mission or change it. There are people in your life that may not believe the same things that you do.  There is no reason to change your mission. If you are passionate about it, then you need to do everything to complete it.

The truths below are going to  help you do this.

2. “DO YOUR RESEARCH”

Once you have decided on your mission it is time to see if it is actually possible. Most likely, it is possible. There are always windows of opportunity; you just need to take them. Do your research and find how much work is required to complete it. Ask the experts. Get a few opinions. Ultimately it is up to you which path you take, and this is the time to weigh all the conditions.

Remember you cannot do this alone.

3. “BUILD YOUR SUPPORT”

You do not have to do this yourself. It is okay to share with people what you want to accomplish. It is also okay to ask for help. From the experts to your closest friends and family, everyone will take on a role during your mission. I do not understand clients and athletes that insist on doing it alone. I understand there is satisfaction in being able to say “I did it by myself, and no one else helped me!” Yet, when you turn around to celebrate your accomplishment there will not be anyone to celebrate it with.

Build your “fan base” so you can share your success.

4. “ENJOY THE PROCESS”

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Your mission may be a little out of your reach. It is nice when you can achieve things easily and in a short amount of time. However, most missions a take some time, and the journey may be delayed or stalled for some unseen reason. That is the time to take a look around and see how far you traveled! Remember why you are doing this and who you are this doing for.

Then turn back around and keep going.

5. WELCOME THE CHALLENGE!

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It is not easy. It shouldn’t be easy. If there were not any obstacles, then the journey would not be worth it. The most frustrating thing that I hear from clients and athletes today is, “This is too much work.” What ever happened to your EDGE? We are the greatest species on the planet because of our resourcefulness, our ability to choose, and our versatility. Our ability to adapt is one our greatest strengths; if we are not utilizing our abilities as human beings then how can we call ourselves great?

All of us have the ability to accomplish the mission; just at different times.

6.  “GO AT YOUR PACE”

Everyone should go at their own pace. Some of us can explode right out of the gates and accomplish great things in a short amount of time. Some of us need more time. In the end, we all reach the same place, therefore it does not matter how we get there. During our research, we develop a plan and follow it. Our support system will be there along the way and we will have time to enjoy it.

Everyone’s journey is unique.

Moral of the Story

I have been stewing about this blog all week.

Writing is challenging for me, but since I started this blog it has gotten easier. My biggest challenge is saying what I want to say.

I was finally able to write today because of what happened to someone I cared about…

They did not believe in themselves…

It drives me crazy. In this instance, the person had doubts because someone who did not support them told them they were failing.

What right does someone have to tell you you are failing  at your own mission?

My athletes want to see success now. They want to be fast now. Mostly because they see other athletes that are currently having success in training and competition.

Keep in mind that those individuals decided their mission a long time ago. They did their research and have built the necessary support system around them. They are now finally enjoying the process and have settled into their pace.

That is what makes it seem so easy from the outside. They have found balance between the challenges of their mission and their ability to reach their goals.

Stop.

Look down. The starting line is at your feet, and you are just beginning your mission.

Look ahead.

The finish line is there in front of you.

Take these 6 Truths of Accountability with you as you begin your journey…

I am right there with you.

For more information on training programs for rowing, rowing technique, Kettlebells, Clubbells or athletic consulting with AthleteDISC, and the Process Communication Model® like me on Facebook at RUFO OPTIMAL WORKOUTS.

WHICH ERG SCREEN ARE YOU?

 

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THE ERG SCREEN

The Concept II Rowing Machine or “Erg” has come a long way since I was in college. Since the Model “D” was introduced, owners have had the luxury of using the PM3, PM4, and now PM5 monitors. If you are new to indoor rowing, here are some of the screens we used to have to stare at:

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PM1 – For the Model “B”

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PM2 – For the Model “C”

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Bicycle Speedometer – For the Model “A”

 

 

 

 

 

The newer PM4 gives you access to a ton of training data, record results with a log card, as well the option to play the Fish Game (which I hate, but that is another story).

"The Fish Game...ugh"

“The Fish Game…ugh”

Usually, your coach will determine which screen you will use during a workout. It is important to them because they want to monitor and record your training data as you complete the workout.

It is your choice as well, because you want to get the most out your workout. The data will always be there in the end, therefore maybe it is time for you to explore which screen you might choose to get the best result.

PROCESS COMMUNICATION MODEL®

"Yes, you do..."

“Yes, you do…”

I have many athletes that use the indoor rowing machine that hate it.

One of the main reasons they hate it is because they have to stare at the screen every single stroke. This past month, I explored “2k Anxiety” and how to overcome it. Using the AthleteDISC profile allows you to become aware of your behavior and have the ability to change it to yield a positive result.

The Process Communication Model® digs a little deeper. It gives you further insight on your personality and why you make the choices you make.

In November, I wrote about my daughter and the Process Communication Model® . As a PCM Certified Trainer, I find Athletic Profiling has been very useful to my athletes and I because we are able to understand and control all the variables.

We can also eliminate the variables that don’t matter.

CHOOSE YOUR SCREEN

Which erg screen are you? There are 5 options on the current PM3, PM4, and PM5 models. Let’s review the six personality types and which screen the pure personality type may choose.

THE STANDARD SCREEN – Persister

"Straight shooter here..."

“Straight shooter here…”

The Persister personality type will choose the standard screen for two reasons:

#1 This is the screen that most coaches will choose. It is also the screen you will see at most indoor rowing competitions.

#2 It gives them just enough data.

Persisters insist on doing what is right. Assisting their coach and helping the team is the #1 priority. Even if they do not enjoy using this screen, they want to follow the program. Having too much data is okay, however the Persister would just rather focus on one or two pieces of information – the average split, meters, or stroke rate. Persisters would like the entire team to use the same screen.

THE DATA SCREEN – Thinker

"Where is my HR monitor strap?"

“Where is my HR monitor strap?”

The Thinker personality type needs more information. The fact that the data screen allows them to see it all in one place is even better. As a strong thinker AND persister, I could go either way. It all depends on how important the workout is to me. Allow your Thinkers to absorb all the data they need because the sixth 500 meter split is just as important as the last 500 meter split.

They will also be able to predict and provide you the mean average deviation of the team’s average 500 meters compared to the 5k you did 2 years ago on that rainy day in April…just because!

THE FORCE CURVE SCREEN – Imaginer

"Too much legs at the front end, let's try..."

“Hmm..Too much legs at the front end…”

The Imaginer personality type is okay with data. However, rowing is about how the boat and the athletes move together. Imaginers would rather focus on the rhythm and pace of their piece.

"New Age Philosophy Major"

“New Age Philosophy Major”

The force curve screen is perfect for them because they will be able to focus on what their stroke looks and feels like so they can optimize it. Meanwhile the coach STILL can see the data that is important. Imaginers understand they need to go fast, however too much information and distraction may overwhelm them. Provide your Imaginers with the “ideal” curve and give them time and space to figure out how to create it.  I have been exploring my Imaginer side for the last 3 to 4 years. I enjoy training alone now, and I enjoy dissecting every stroke. The split is not so important.

THE PACE BOAT SCREEN – Promoter

"I TOTALLY got this..."

“I TOTALLY got this…”

Why don’t more athletes or coaches use the pace boat screen? The Promoter personality type says, “I race better on the water because I’m racing another boat.”

Give them what they want. Just because you want them to focus on pacing themselves or fixing their technique will not change the fact that you want them to race and pull a personal best on their next test. Set the pace boat. Maybe not at their goal pace, but a little bit slower, so they know they can win. Promoters want to win and be the best. Get out of their way and let them do their thing.

I use the pace boat screen a lot now with my athletes. It makes it easy to set attainable goals within the session. As a current Promoter, I want results out of every training session.

Race plans should be loose, because athletes can adapt on the fly. Even if they are behind with 300 meters to go, you may witness the most epic sprint because THAT’S WHAT THEY DO!

THE WATTS SCREEN  – Rebel

"Just Because..."

“Just Because…”

Data, Racing, Force Curves…um, it all sounds good, but your Rebel personality type will just choose the Watts screen that is left because they want to be different.

Rebels will get the job done, but if you force them to do things your way or the team’s way then you might run into trouble. Offer them the Watts screen first and they may just laugh.

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“Coach, how am I going to know how fast I am pulling?” And they will choose another screen.

Having playful contact with my Rebels allows me to step outside the seriousness of training because I need to remember training is fun!

They may just surprise you. Rebels are creative you know. If you have a set race plan, give them the space to be creative. They may come up with the next new pacing strategy strictly off of Watts.

THE MAJORITY – Harmonizer

The Harmonizer personality type will choose the majority. It is important to do what the team wants and be supportive. Harmonizers will not rock the boat, and will make sure everyone is on the same page. If a Harmonizer is sitting next to a Rebel then you may have two athletes using the Watts screen because the Harmonizer doesn’t want anyone to feel left out.

"YOLO..."

“YOLO…”

I will always support that, even if it means the Harmonizer doesn’t do as well on their test.  Creating team culture is sometimes more important than the training sessions.  Harmonizers also want to be healthy and strong so doing “calorie” workouts are a great way to shake things up for them.

DOES THIS APPLY TO OTHER CARDIO MACHINES?

"What do you gravitate towards?"

“What do you gravitate towards?”

Absolutely! A treadmill or elliptical machine has all the same data, so what information to you prefer to stare at for the duration of your workout?

MORAL OF THE STORY

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Which erg screen are you?

As an athlete, you should go with your gut. Which screen do you WANT to use? Have you ever considered using it?

As a coach, are you okay with allowing athletes to choose their screen? In the end you are still getting the data you need.

Every athlete understands that on the water they do not have control of what they see and hear. However, if you want to build confidence and get the best performance out of each of your athletes then maybe it is time for you to shift the way you think?

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Are you ready Leo Young?

What do you say coach?

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“Aki Kurose Middle School 10-min indoor relay World Record, Dec 2011”

For more information on training programs for rowing, rowing technique, Kettlebells, Clubbells, DISC, and Process Communication like me on Facebook at RUFO OPTIMAL WORKOUTS.

Last chance to check out the DISC2K – Philadelphia Seminar on January 9th, 2016!

Online consulting and Skype sessions also available.