Evi and Tanya Strasser set up a very interesting Zoom meeting this evening. They invited mental performance coach Dirk Stroda to give us his thoughts on Champions and how they achieve their goals.Dirk has worked with many champions across a wide spectrum of sports, businesses, and performing arts. So what did he tell us?
What is the definition of Champion? “Champions decide relatively quickly and commit immediately to what is important. They are do-ers. They are people who commit to relevant goals who can perform consistently on a very high level. Champions have the ability not just to start but they bring it to the finish line.”
How has Covid affected some of the people you were preparing for competition? ” It is a new situation. What can we do? Person #1 goes back into the cave not doing anything. Person #2 wants to maintain where they are. Person #3 Wants a new direction to keep moving forward,exploring the opportunities. Now where are they in a year from now? #1 is gone. #2 has maintained and #3 has the advantage.”
How important is a coach and a team.?
“The higher you go the more important it is to have a team. You have to rely on people who are your shield. There can be hostility and drama in sport and it is a MUST to have the best team behind you . A team behind you means your support, your coach, your mentor. I have not seen many athletes who make it without a team in their shadow. You need people to make decisions with. You want the best, most reliable people to discuss decisions with. The team behind you can shield you and protect you. That allows the champions to go out and play the room. They are there to perform.”
“The Team is there to be your external validation of your performance, not just to always tell you how great you are. To get to the top you cannot just focus on the things you are good at. Your team will tell you where you have to improve. This is the best feedback. “
Why should I have a plan?
If you get an Uber at the airport and the driver asks you where you are going and you say you don’t know, then you go nowhere. You just sit at the airport. Write your goal down! Also high performance athletes should not do multi tasking. When you sit on a horse focus on one thing. Make it simple. Have a plan. Decide on your number one priority. Thoughts come to your mind. Your kids, your leaking roof . But how much can you do for your kids or your roof repair when you are on a horse? So one thing at a time and then then next thing. You must ask yourself: “What am I here for? What am I doing?” Before every session talk to your coach and decide on your goals. Decide on what you are doing in that 45 minute session.At the end you have the debriefing It’s less than one minute. The briefing and de-briefing are vital!”
“Your coach is there to give you the outside information. If you don’t have that you re giving away 50% of what your competitors have. The debrief is important as you cannot leave with a big question. You both set up a plan for how to deal with whatever came up in the session.”
GOALS. How do you make the RIGHT goals Dirk has Five Steps.
R… Relevant. Is this goal relevant?
I ….Indicator. This is my goal. can I create indicators of progress. Can I compete locally? Regional level? National level? International level?
G….. Gravity does my goal have so much force that it can drive me toward it? Do I want to go to Palgrave or to Paris (Olympics). Getting to Paris needs force.
H… High Value. Is it important for me to compete in Paris?
T…. Time. Is the time right for me to start my goal and to complete my goal? Can I bring it to the finish line? Is this the right time to do it? Can I complete it? That is what separates a Champion from a non champion.
There were also questions from the people listening .
1.What is the effect of Covid on Champions and their goals?
“Keep practicing, Set goals maybe smaller, shorter term goals. Break your goals down into chunks. So the big “will I be able to go to the Olympics” needs to be broken down to smaller goals. Micro and Macro. The better you are at managing the micro in the trenches the easier it will be to make the macro your own.
2.Why do some coaches not use goal setting?
“Because goals measure your success. Coach must be able to create measurable results. When you look at ‘what if’ you get more ‘what if’. If you want to change something you have to change what you think about.
Dirk closed with some words for us getting through Covid times.
“Be uplifting and supportive. Be there and just listen. Be an antidepressant for yourself and for those around you.”
A very informative evening and what Dirk told us is applicable to anyone in any of life’s pursuits. Thank you Evi and Tanya for arranging this.
I’d love to hear from you!