In this weeks episode of On Coaching, we tackle how to define success (or failure) in workouts and races. Far too often we operate in a time or performance framework. We judge a workout based on whether we ran faster than was written on the paper. How we define success has a direct impact on how we run the workout or race. Because of fear of failing or fear of judgment, we will limit our risk-taking, choosing to ensure that we don’t underperform, rather than trying to perform to the best of our ability.

In this episode, we discuss how to shift your viewpoint on success and failure and the implications in doing so.

  • Judging: Is it based on internal or external parameters (4min)
  • We have an addiction to the idea of progress (5min)
  • See God Workouts: How often? (13min)
  • Numbers are a shortcut for understanding. Defaulting to an evaluation based solely on numbers limits thinking. (26min)
  • What message are you sending as a coach? (33min)
  • What is our definition of Excellence? (36min)
  • “The person who fails the most wins.”
  • The 4 types of Fear of Failure (44min)
  • Giving yourself permission to dare. (48min)
  • Rob Conner and the University of Portland XC team. How do they create a team culture (56min)

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast

What Holds us Back from Performing to Our Capabilities? Our self.

The Scholar Mentorship Program– Join the in-depth performance coaching group with Steve and Jon.

Visit our Sponsor

Final Surge is a training log designed for athletes, coaches, and teams. They are giving listeners of the podcast 10% off by using the coupon code ONCOACHING

For coaches, it makes assigning workouts and designing training plans a breeze. It allows copious amounts of feedback from athletes, and even a message board for your athletes to interact, creating team bonding from afar. For athletes, it’s a sophisticated log that can track just about everything.

How do we know it’s good? I utilize Final Surge with my athletes as a way to plan, track, and receive feedback on all of their training. It streamlines the process of coaching and makes it where I don’t miss a run, workout, or nagging injury that pops up.

For athletes, it’s free to use. For coaches, there’s a monthly cost. They also have training plans designed by the pro’s, if you are looking for one!

Check out Final Surge and receive 10% off by visiting and using the coupon code ONCOACHING 

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    1. Christy Westover on October 24, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Perfect! Thanks! I finally had the chance to listen this morning and I can’t think of a better way to head into our XC district meet today! As always, great insight. Glad you’re back at it.

    2. JohnD on November 4, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Interesting and good stuff. Hopefully most coaches operate with thoughts like these. One thing that I was thinking about is the coach or school (mainly college) with the alternate agenda: Results are all that matter.

      There I see two things at play:

      One is pushing a runner to go go go so that the coach can get that next gig. If the runner blows out a knee that’s OK as long as “we won”.

      The other is a school with a very large team of runners. There’s it’s all about who is peaked and ready to run the next race. Sometimes those places aren’t actually a team, just “pool of runner” to pick from to win one for the school.

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