2016 has been a record-setting year for the athletes that we coach at TeamHPB. As of my writing this, we have ten age group athletes qualified for the Hawaii Ironman, with a couple more who have a chance to do so next weekend. I was thinking about how I could disseminate some of what I've observed in them in a way that might help others with this or other big triathlon goals in mind.
I came up with the top five defining characteristics of our Kona Team:
They are self-motivated. My job with these athletes is not to convince them of the value of getting out the door to get the work done but instead , on occasion, to hold them back from over-doing.
They hold themselves accountable. These are not people who make excuses. If and when they fail or fall down, these athletes look inward and assess what they will do to succeed the next time--and then they implement these changes rather than just talking about them.
They are time-management experts. Our Kona crew includes CEOs, business owners, parents, grandparents, people who work two jobs, and people whose jobs on occasion have them sleeping under their desks at the office. Yet the level of training that gets one qualified for Kona happens, thanks to a whole lot of planning and prioritizing.
They are comfortable being uncomfortable. While they may experience no less trepidation in the face of what they know will be an extremely uncomfortable training or racing assignment, these athletes recognize and thrive on such instances as the ones that define their athletic success.
They have long-term vision and perspective. My "Kona kids" are almost always the ones who come to me with long-term plans and goals in the range of a few years. These are not the athletes coming to me looking for a magic bullet or for me to work a miracle in a matter of months. They recognize that big accomplishments in our sport are years in the making and they embrace the process.