Potential: Pick Me!

pictures L to R: My mom and I stretch pre-jog. My dad is teaching me how to run.
My sisters and I model personalized sweatsuits at Christmas. In this picture I'm about the same age as my oldest son is now in the basketball picture. In second grade I was taller than all the boys.

Recently I got to watch my oldest son play basketball. Normally I take most of the soccer practices and my husband Ken takes basketball (though I'd love to hog all of the sports time!)

I loved watching Truitt dribble, pass and shoot. Of course, as his mom, I felt he was one of the advanced players. As a coach (soccer & triathlon) one of the things I love to do is pick out natural athletes. My dad loves to do this too.

I also love looking for the underdog athlete, that probably drives me more. It's my job as a coach to help each athlete find a sport-specific skill he or she can excel in and then add on from there. Help an athlete find meaningful success and you'll change a life. Help an underdog athlete and change his or her world.

So as I sat picking out the future High School boys' basketball team during Truitt's second-grade practice, I wondered, "would someone have picked me in second grade?" I don't think so. I was an excellent rollerskater (shoot-the-duck champion) and held the grade record in headstands and handstands, but I wasn't outwardly aggressive. I started playing soccer in third grade and have played ever since. But if my middle sister hadn't been playing soccer already, who knows.

Recently I drove along with my middle sister to watch her adult coed indoor soccer game. While sitting in the stands I got recruited twice to play, business cards included! I was dressed normally. I didn't have any soccer gear with me. But coed leagues are often looking for pickup players, so I could have gotten on the field.

I thought about my experiences with triathlon. How many times do you as a spectator get recruited to be a triathlete? Have you asked someone to give this sport a go? Why or why not?

More questions for you:
- As a kid, were you an underdog or a MVP?
- As an triathlete, have you overlooked recruiting a potential training buddy?
- If triathlon is for "normal athletes" too why don't we recruit more aggressively?

high school soccer photo: me left, Susan right


Big Daddy Diesel said...

- I never was recruited to triathlons

- I have recruited to many to count to join this wonderful sport.

- I have always been in the middle, not underdog, and not the mvp.

- I recruit anyone who will train with me.

- we can recruit all we want, but we all know it all about if the "recruitee" has the will and heart to finish the job they started.

Velma said...

Great pictures! I have been trying to recruit new triathletes!!

Jason Andrew Mellet said...

I love recruiting, in fact i am holding a triathlon 101 camp at the end of february in dallas.

Donna said...

- As a kid, were you an underdog or a MVP? Most definitely the underdog, but something inside me told me I was better than what they saw on the outside. I knew I had the drive and desire necessary for athletics; some sports just didn't come naturally to me.

- As an triathlete, have you overlooked recruiting a potential training buddy? No way! People look at me and can't believe some of the things I've done; to them the challenges seem unattainable. I tell them "They're only unattainable until you start." In fact, I've recruited some of the most unlikely folks, got them to drink the kool-aid, and now they're doing tris. I'm quite proud of each of them! :)

- If triathlon is for "normal athletes" too why don't we recruit more aggressively? Well, I think triathlon takes a certain mindset. It requires focus and a certain amount of self-centeredness (as opposed to selfishness). I don't think everyone has the ability to feel comfortable with the idea that training is a priority for you (for me, number 2 to family!), and likewise it's hard for those close to us to understand that as well!

ShirleyPerly said...

Well, the only sports I did as a kid were mandatory PE classes and I don't remember ever getting picked or recruited to be on a team (teachers said we had to do it and would just divide us up). I did sorta recruit my hubby to be my cycling partner, though :-)

Thanks for the kind comment about my indoor marathon post!

Jen said...

I am a new follower and I have the Tri-bug. I am good at running and swimming, but do not own a bike yet... how did you get started?

Sara Cox Landolt said...

Big Daddy Diesel - Thanks for commenting again #1! I bet you've impacted many lives with triathlon!

Velma - Go get em! You're a powerful person!

Jason - Best to you in your 101 camp! Sounds like so much fun!

Donna - I'm so glad you knew inside you have it! And I bet you've also made some great friends while training & helping other new triathletes. Did you see the Navy SEAL reference that they pick triathletes for their strong mental skills?

Shirley- I did love your indoor marathon report! And hubbies can make great training partners. Ken and I have hit the highs and the lows! But I love sharing triathlon with him.

Jen - welcome! I was just on your site & hope to explore some more!
I'd love to tell my story again, maybe it's time for an updated post! Thanks for the suggestion.
:-) Sara

Donna said...

@Sarah Yes, I read that somewhere, was it here? :)

I think the my recent first half marathon required me to be more mentally tough than any triathlon I've done so far. Maybe because running is so NOT my thing.

I considered doing the Warrior Dash because they tout the fact that you don't have to be a superhuman athlete, but you do have to be able to sustain mental toughness.