Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fitzgerald interviews Simon

Author Matt Fitzgerald has an except of an interview with Simon here:

An Interview with Simon Whitfield
I recently interviewed 2004 Olympic Triathlon gold medalist Simon Whitfield of Canada for an article on mental laziness that I’m writing for Triathlete. Here are some excerpts for your enjoyment:

The age-groupers that I know are always picking the brains of pro and coaches. A lot of the age-groupers are very open to trying new things, whereas a lot of the pros I’ve trained with over the years have an inability to adapt and change—a stubbornness, even.

It’s the classic line: “I know what I’m doing.” When I hear an athlete say that, particularly a pro, it’s like the kiss of death. I think there’s a touch of arrogance in there. And I think there is a touch of laziness. It’s easy to fall into that trap. With it comes a lack of accountability, and that’s very attractive to people, whether they want to admit it or not. It’s no coincidence that athletes go through it when they’re 26, 27 years old. They’re more sure of themselves, they’re more independent. The natural progression is to start saying, “I know what I’m doing.”


Now [coach] Joel [Filliol] never announces the set before the warm-up is done. He always stands there and watches the warm-up, and you can tell that he’s making an assessment. He’s asking, “Does what I have in mind for today actually apply today?” By not being so tied to planning, he’s able to make on-the-fly adjustments.


There are a couple inaccuracies, but otherwise some good thoughts from Simon.

Read the rest here

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