Friday, September 13, 2013

The Rocky Road to Budapest

Hi all,

Tomorrow we head off to Budapest for another Senior World Championships!
This will be my 16th Senior World Championships Coaching for Team Canada!
I am filled with lots of energy and anticipation. I am extremely nervous and fearful, yet confident at the same time.

As a coach I hope each one of our National Team athletes enters the competition healthy, hungry, and happy. I hope every athlete feels optimally prepared and ready to compete at full capacity! Yet I know this is NOT always the case. The road to the World Championships is seldom an easy one. It is seldom paved and smooth... more often filled with deep pot holes, steep inclines, and blind corners (the kind you can't see around and have no idea what is coming next). With a group of hard working driven competitors and hungry focussed coaches it is inevitable that someone along the way sustains an injury (whether new or old). It is also impossible that at least one athlete doesn't have some sort of major drama or dilemma going on in there personal life (A sick family member, relationship stress, job stress...), I've seen it all...

Yet, WHO wins on the day of the competition?
The person with the best training? (As a coach we often hope so)
The person who has done everything right? (eaten, slept, controlled distractions, remained healthy)
The person who wants it most?
The person with the most confidence?
I often am asked what is the most important determinant of success.
I believe, no one is guaranteed success! You must step out the day of the competition and earn it...
I have seen healthy athletes lose, where injured athletes have won.
I have seen athletes going off of the rails with stress the days before the tournament (and even the day of) yet pull it together and win. While cool confident athletes got beat.
I have seen athletes want to win so badly that they over strive, don't flow and get beat.
The truth is in our sport a match starts zero - zero (everything done prior to that moment counts, but wont earn you a point), the true winners step on the mat and wrestle. They are "in the moment", they don't fear the future, they don't regret the past. The winners wrestle with determination and steel focus. Any set back prior  to the start of that match no longer exists (be it physical, mental, or emotional).

Talking to my team members and coaches I know we have had our share of ups and downs in the past year, and even the past weeks. This last week in Budapest is really about committing to ourselves that no matter what, we are going to focus and wrestle when the whistle blows at the worlds.  
Making the Canadian National Team is a great accomplishment... yet we know many (Men and Women) didn't stop there. They stepped onto the international stage and found a way, their own unique way to reach the podium! The adversity you faced on the road to the Worlds has prepared you for any situation you might face at it!

I am extremely proud of the athletes and team members representing Canada at the World Championships again this year.
How the heck did I land this job? ... No wonder I'm this pumped!

See everyone in Budapest!

Coach V

p.s. Life's a Dance - by John Michael Montgomery (verse two)

The longer I live the more I believe
That you do have to give if you wanna receive 
There a time to listen, a time to talk
And you might have to crawl even after you walk
Had sure things blow up in my face
Seen the long shot win the race
Been knocked down by the slamming door
Picked myself up and came back for more!

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