How to Build a Winning Support Team

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” (African Proverb)

I saw that quote at the Cape Town, South Africa airport just a few weeks ago.

I was there to take on the Two Oceans Ultramarathon – 56kms (35mi) winding along the beautiful coastline of Cape Town and in the shadows of the stunning Table Mountain.

Those words really resonated with me and my three running partners. We needed to go far, and we needed to go together to do it successfully – especially in the heat, hills and high winds of race day.

This got me thinking about you and the power of a “support team” in achieving your goals.

Whether they are running (or swimming or cycling) alongside you, helping you in your training or simply taking care of other responsibilities for you, if you want to go far in triathlon and in life, you must have the right team around you.

This week’s key thought: TEAM 

You don’t need to be a full-time pro to have a support crew. If you stop and think about it, you definitely have people around you that influence your efforts in triathlon.

It’s time to reflect on the team around you, what they provide for you and what, if any, gaps exist that need to be addressed.

NOTE: When doing this exercise, be specific and name names of individuals.

1. Make a quick list of the people closest to you that impact your time, energy and efforts in triathlon, positively or negatively. Include yourself.

 E.g. spouse/partner, family members, coach, friends, club members. Also, consider secondary impact such as boss/colleagues or clients/customers that impact the time you’re able to spend on quality training sessions.

 2. Add to that list any resources or people you don’t know directly but still contribute as a ‘virtual’ team member in developing your performance.

 E.g. authors, online communities, magazines, podcasts

3. On a scale of -10 to +10 give EACH PERSON/RESOURCE a score on how supportive you currently feel they are for you, your goals and your desires in triathlon.

 Any positive number is supportive, any negative number is unsupportive or detracts from your desire or time to train and race. Be honest. Be real. Score yourself too.

4. Once you’ve scored each one, circle the top 2 or 3 that you want or need to be a higher number to provide you greater support or reduce the negative impact they are creating.

For example, agreeing with your spouse how you can manage the family responsibilities differently to reduce your guilt and their stress. Or actually putting the ideas you read online into practice, or not being so hard on yourself after a poor result.

5. Identify what specifically you need from them to INCREASE THEIR SCORE just 1-2 points.

 Make the improvement realistic and manageable. If you currently score them a +6, what needs to happen for this to be a +7 or +8 for you? If they are a -6, what does -4 look like to you? Be specific. Be real. What will you offer in return to support them?

Take charge and make this week a team building week.

Turn your ideas into action in the next 24 hours. Make a phone call, send an email, have the necessary conversation with your team member.

I am willing to bet you’ll notice the difference immediately.

P.S. This exercise only takes 5 minutes and when you do it on paper – not just in your head – it can make a big difference. So make the effort…you’ll be glad you did!

 The Mindset Moment is a little reminder, a friendly nudge and a caring kick up the backside to keep you on track to achieve your potential and goals. Just what we all need to jumpstart the week and always be at our best.

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