Let Go for Gold | Gagen MacDonald

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Let Go for Gold

Jan 08, 2015

In light of the London Olympic Games, I’ve been thinking a lot about the accountability and responsibility we place upon athletes. This pressure comes from all different channels- the media, other competitors, and audiences watching worldwide. However, key people I think we often forget about in the Olympics are the coaches and their perspective.

Obviously these athletes have incredible talent, but coaching plays an integral part in the entire Olympic process. Besides the athletes themselves, coaches probably feel the most pressure during competition time. Have I done enough research? Have I prepared my team? Have I prepared the most efficient workouts? Have I analyzed all the different scenarios? Have I given the best advice?

When it comes to the workplace, I think leaders probably have similar thoughts running through their heads. For many leaders, like Denise Ramos, it’s difficult to let go of this need to control. It can be challenging to take a step back and let others take ownership of a situation. It’s not so much a lack of trust, but the feeling of uncertainty.

When Michael Phelps steps up to the blocks, I’m sure his coach wishes he could be right there making sure everything is perfect. When gymnast Jordyn Wieber suffered the disappointment of elimination from the all-around competition, her coach felt her pain. However, as a coach and leader, there is only so much you can do. Although difficult, there comes a time to finally stand back and be the observer. It can be very hard to put feelings aside and watch events unfold. But at the end of the day, it’s up to your teams/athletes to perform and showcase their talents. You have to know that you’ve given them sufficient training, employed the right people, and trust in their abilities.

/ Jan 08, 2015

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