Episode 17- Falling into the trap to do more

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In the latest episode of the Magness and Marcus show, we discuss a familiar topic to all coaches, the trap to do more because you really don’t know what else to do. Yes, we’re talking about the age old problem of increasing work for the sake of increasing something. We begin with the diminished return and plateau effect and the mistaken and wrongly idealized linear growth mindset.

From here, we delve into how to manipulate variables and stressors to take an athlete slightly beyond their comfort zones to insure adaptation. Jon and I both talk about how we never repeat the same exact key workouts and what are reasoning behind that decision is.

After getting into the training a bit, we step back and take a look at some of the set patterns we fall into as coaches an athletes. Beginning with the issue of assigning importance to a component simply because we can now track or measure it, and then getting into relying on “default mode” workouts where we simply give a workout without really thinking about what we’re actually doing it. To get around this problem, we talk about responsive training and using a thinking pattern of breaking concepts down to their simplest components before trying to build them up.

In this podcast we also mention enough books to keep you busy for a few months!

Hopefully you all enjoy the podcast and let us know what you think.


Steve and Jon
@stevemagness
@jmarpdx



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Resources mentioned in this episode:

Upside of Stress  by Kelly McGonigal

What makes Olga run? by Bruce Grierson

Make it Stick by Peter Brown

The Rise by Sarah Lewis

TED talk- The first 20 hours- How to Learn Anything by Josh Kaufman

The reality of running professionally- Contracts, Agents, and having the right mindset

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In this episode, we open the doors wide open. We’re talking about the realities of post collegiate running. We take on a slew of topics in this hour long conversation, including transparent conversation on contracts, agents, how much athletes actually make, what training groups and coaches do, and much more. Basically, we try to spread what Jon and I have learned in dealing in the post collegiate realm.

In this episode, which we’ll call a reality check, we start off with discussing how athletes are essentially starving artists. What this means is that for the vast majority of us, it’s about the process and dedication to this process and not the financial reward that is the motivator. As a post collegian, you need to be self aware enough to know your own potential, limitations, and goals and when to chase your dreams and when to step away.

Beyond knowing what it takes, Jon and I give our opinions on what makes a successful professional runner. From their mindset, to their approach to racing, we delve into what makes people last for the long haul. In this same vein, we go over the attitude that new post collegians need to adopt “having power 5 talent with a mid major mindset” and why many look for the wrong things right out of college. One of the biggest mistakes we’ve seen in athletes coming out of college is in the “asking what you get” instead of asking what you can do. It’s about putting yourself in an environment where you can be successful, not necessarily chasing the environment that gives you the most money or prestige. We end off talking about how to find this environment and how it’s different for each athlete.

While this podcast is geared to a specific niche, we think that everyone will get some insight and knowledge from discussing a part of the sport that is seldom addressed. Consider this a glimpse of how to survive post collegiate running, or really anny transition in life.

Steve & Jon


Steve & Jon
@stevemagness
@jmarpdx



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Resources mentioned in this episode:

Taking Advantage of Distractions- Part 2

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In part two of our in person chat at the USA championships, Jon and I meander through a variety of topics surrounding distractions and performance. We start off with talking about taking the master chef approach. What’s this actually mean? It’s about how to get all of these different people to the same end game. Meaning that instead of following an exact recipe it’s about understanding and seeing the patterns but having the flexibility to work around it both in coaching and racing.

 From here, we dig into the difference between racing and time trialing and how we go about dealing with the fact that in the post collegiate world we spend the entire year racing one style (time trial) and then have to figure out how to run rounds and tactical races. How do we prepare for this and how do you get ready to prepare for the event demands in both styles.

 After that, we discuss the workout Wednesday response, where we tend to look at workouts as predictive. They aren’t. Athletes and coaches tend to think that “If I did X workout, then I should run Y,” when it doesn’t work like that. Instead of looking at workouts as predictive, we need to look at them as a simple way to adapt.

 To sum things up, it’s about reframing distractions as advantages. Don’t blow things up and make them bigger than they are, don’t use justifications, take advantage of the cards your dealt.

We hope you enjoy part 2 of our conversation on distractions. As always, reach out to us via twitter to let us know what you think and what you'd like to hear us talk about!


Steve & Jon
@stevemagness
@jmarpdx


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Resources mentioned in this episode:

Player's First: Coaching from the Inside Out- John Caliper

Strangers to Ourselves- Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious



Why we are bad at predicting our own behavior and what that means in coaching.

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I’m a science junkie. I admit it and while when I was a teenager I might have downplayed that side of me, now it’s something I wear quite openly on my sleeve. This couldn’t have been displayed more openly when at the post-USA’s Run Gum party, I was sitting at a table with coach Daniel Goetz, Phoebe Wright, Angela Bizzari and the Brooks crew talking about a study. Yes, I was at a post-race party, detailing a psychology study. If that doesn’t sum up me up, I’m not sure what will.

In a particular set of studies, they looked at how accurate people were at predicting their own behavior versus a stranger predicting their behavior. In one study, they had college students predict how nervous they’d be when talking with new people. The individuals were worse at predicting than people who had just met them. Another study looked at how well people could predict their future behaviors, in this case in purchasing flowers for a charity drive. 83% of the individuals predicted that they would buy flowers, while strangers predicted that 56% of the people would buy flowers. The actual percentage of people who bought flowers for the charity was 43%. So the strangers predicted behavior outcomes to a much larger degree. The same effect can be seen on giving donations and a lot of other behavioral outcomes.

The point is we suck at predicting our own behavior. As Timothy Wilson writes in his book, Strangers to Ourselves:

Episode 14- Taking advantage of distractions- Part 1

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Part 1-

Once again, Jon and I come to you from a coffee shop on location and simply talking shop. This week we’re covering distractions; how to deal with them, how do you adapt to them, and when they might be positive or negative.  We start out with the “Once A Runner” myth about living the life of zero distractions and how this might work for some, but it should be about learning how to thrive in a real environment. The oft-cited counter to this argument is the East African running only lifestyle. While this works well for them, the cultural differences and ADD type culture that infiltrates modern society, doesn’t allow for many Westerners to function in this type of set up. Instead of recovering during this type of environment, the “disease of doing nothing” creates a stressor because of ingrained societal norm of being a “productive worker bee.” It’s about finding balance in your life that allows for recovery and self-fulfillment.

From here, we jump to how to frame distractions and how pattern recognition is the key to successful coaching and performance. It’s about taking what your environment and conditions afford you and framing them as an advantage instead of a disadvantage. A great example of this is altitude vs. heat. Altitude has been framed as a positive adaptation because of the physiological benefits even though it makes you run slower workouts that feel consistently hotter. Yet, heat and humidity which makes workouts more difficult and slower in a similar way to altitude, is seen as a negative, despite similar positive shifts in blood volume, for example, that aid performance. Despite Frank Shorter training in Florida, the framing is different, although both offer benefits.

To end part 1 , we talk about Seth Godin’s principle of “just ship” and how we have to make mistakes, screw up, and fail fast to grow as coaches and athletes.

I hope you guys enjoyed another in-person podcast with Jon and I.

Thanks,
Steve & Jon

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Resources mentioned in this episode:

Strangers to Ourselves- Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious





Episode 13- Advice for a young coach- part 2

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In part two of Advice for a young coach, we start with the concept of coaching as a partnership versus a dictatorship. What does this mean? The goal should be to take athletes from dependence to independence, not the other way around. The goal of the coach shouldn’t be to prove their worth, but instead it’s to help the athlete foster independence so that they can be adaptable and ready under a wide range of situations, so that they are ready for whatever is coming at them.

From there we delve into what coaching actually is. Is it about collecting accolades, padding our resume’s, hitting PR’s, or is it about something else? Jon and I make the argument that it’s about development of people. Not just about hitting certain times, but developing people’s skills that not only help within the world of track and field, but also translate across life. One of the myths that comes along with that is that, excitement is dependent on the level of athlete you are working with. There is a great misnomer that the faster a person runs that you coach, the more enjoyment you get out of it, when the truth is that coaching is coaching, regardless of level. Along the same lines of this idea, is the trickle down effect where ideas/training/concepts come from the pro’s to the college to the HS level.

Finally, we summarize our thoughts with discussing how coaching should be about leaving your “space” in a better position than you found that. It’s about developing the culture, the team, and the circle that you have around you.


In the end, Jon put it best when he says that coaching is about relationships. We should continue to treat people with respect, kindness, and dignity, and above all treat people like actual people. If you work hard, accomplish that goal, then opportunities will present themselves.

As always, thanks for listening,

Steve & Jon


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Episode 12- Advice for a young coach- Part 1

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Coming to you from Austin, Texas, Jon and I take on the topic of "Advice for a young coach" in our first in person podcast. In this episode we take a step back in our young careers and look at our development as coaches. Starting with tracing our history of how we got into the job of coaching, how we actually got our jobs versus how we thought we would get our jobs, and from there carry on with a dialogue about some of the big misunderstandings in coaching development.

We try to down some of the myths and expectations that we all had when we got into coaching and try to give advice on how to navigate the world of coaching, from resisting falling into the trap of 'climbing the coaching ladder', to the importance of focusing on development of people versus accumulating accolades. We then go into into talking about the misnomer of seeing coaching as a business, and some of the issues in the college system that are often overlooked.

The goal of this podcast is to have a simple dialogue about what coaching is. In ending Part 1 of this 2 part conversation, Jon and I discuss the temptation to fall into the trap of dependence based coaching versus independence based coaching. Instead of seeing the coach as the dictator who has to have all the answers, we talk of the advantages of moving towards always moving towards a two way street of a partnership based model. Escaping the world of micromanaged coaching, as athletes develop, they should gain independence.

We hope you enjoy part 1 of our 2 part conversation on advice for a young coach. As always, hit us up on social media if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions


Steve & Jon

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