January 13th : Circle of Control

According to the Stoics, the circle of control contains just one thing: YOUR MIND. That’s right, even your physical body isn’t completely within the circle. – The Daily Stoic

Now here’s one that is a difficult pill to swallow, especially for anybody with an interest in physical culture. I like that there’s a bit of leeway left – “isn’t completely within the circle”. I feel that here, we should recognize that the choices we take with regards to what we do is under our control, even if the ultimate¬†result of our interventions¬†is not.

You can choose to do all the “right things”. Don’t smoke. Eat well. Sleep enough. Work up a sweat once a day.

You might still end up losing the race, getting injured, having cancer, or losing your mind.

Simply because you can’t bring that possibility to zero, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still invest effort into doing these things. Do not let this devolve into a nihilistic laissez-faire. Simply recognize that in the end, you do not have ultimate control over your body.

I like the lottery ticket analogy I’ve used previously with TG : every training you do, every practice you attend, every workout you finish, you bought yourself a lotto ticket. Simply because you’ve bought a thousand on them, does not guarantee you will win. That said, when you and I are placed in front of Lady Fortune, I most definitely still want to show up with as many tickets as possible.


Today was the second regen day of the week.

  • Starting off with a more general observation : I’m a bit surprised, and really happy, to notice that, in barely a week, I already feel quite comfortable with the staff, and especially them with me. It certainly helps that I’ve already been here two years ago, but it’s comforting to know that in a relatively short period of time, I’ve gained at least a minimum level of respect and trust from these people whom I consider inspirations and mentors.
  • FRC-style exercises were used, in particular to develop rotational range and control of the hips.
  • “You want to be stiff, but not rigid.” – JR. Completely agree.
  • My eye is improving, when watching warm-ups. I still mostly see symptoms, not causes, but it’s an improvement.
  • AH’s story of last year’s 60m race made IK and I think of this.
  • Talking to Tom about ideas on coordinating national teams and club teams has solidified my position on the culture I want to create back home. Don’t try aligning many teams to one greater idea. Competing desires will inevitably get in the way. Instead, have ONE coordinated organization from which you spawn the many teams, national team included.
  • Patois word of the day : Wah yuh ah duh

Presentation/Poolside – Dan presenting on his philosophy on KPI’s

  • If you want to be able to build any semblance of a plan, you better 1) know and 2) be able to rank your KPI’s.
  • Actively look for audits/feedback
    • on your athletes. How else would you know that your plan is leading you in the right direction?
    • on yourself. This is admittedly something I feel I haven’t done enough as a coach. I feel I’m decently hard on myself, which is already a start, but having the athletes themselves, or even better, an unbiased third party, give me criticism would be even more valuable.
  • Paraphrasing an athlete after her first Olympic race : it’s just like any other race, with more people watching.
    • I can see this working both for good and bad. If you’re too far on the arousal curve, this is exactly what we want.
    • However, I wonder if we training can help…increase, or shift, the arousal curve up? If you’re really well trained, being hyper aroused could bring you all the benefits, while still trusting that your good instincts won’t be overridden.
  • Kevin Tyler repeated that coach development is key. From helping develop the now-defunct CACC, revamping coaching education in the UK while working towards London 2012, and now here at Altis, I know he really means it. This is most definitely something I would want to build at home.
  • “You get bored before they do.” – BB. Be wary of this error, because this could be a big player in the excess of unnecessary creativity seen in many training programs.
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