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Adventure Racing 101 (Part 6)

Adventure Racing 101 (Part 6)
Submitted by admin on April 23, 2010 – 8:08 amNo Comment


Adventure Racing is one of the only sports in which you actually have to have your teammates with you, doing exactly what you’re doing, glued to your side at all times. That’s why Adventure Racing is just as much an interpersonal journey as a physical one. In the best of times, you will experience moments that will bond you to your teammates in a very special way for life. In the worst of times, you will walk away having experienced the worst aspects of human nature and be left to pick up the pieces of your shattered hopes. In my experience, a lack of teamwork skills is responsible for at least 40-50% of the DNF’s in Adventure Racing, and it is far too important a factor to overlook in any discussion about the sport. So here’s my two cents.

After years of study in what causes a team to rise from “good” to “world class”, I’ve come to the conclusion that the biggest factors are the attitudes and actions of the individual teammates. In the races my team and I have won, we were not the strongest or the fastest, but we were able to create a “human synergy”—an ephemeral quality or “magic” that made the TEAM stronger than the collective training and experience of the individual members. If I could bottle it, I would certainly be a millionaire– but after a good deal of thinking about the subject, I have a pretty good idea of the essential elements required for this human synergy. Here’s the highlight reel:

The 8 Essential Elements of Human Synergy

T Total Commitment
E Empathy and Awareness of Teammates
A Adversity Management
M Mutual Respect
W “We” versus “I” thinking
O Ownership of the Project
R Relinquishment of Ego
K Kinetic Leadership

*Be the teammate you would want to race with.
*Be cognizant of the fact that, due to the intensity of the emotions generated in this sport, the way that you treat people, (especially during their lowest moments) will always be remembered.
*In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make (for you Beatles fans).
*Try to “coach” versus criticize. Extending a hand is always more impactful than pointing a finger.
*Remember your priorities–our team’s priorities, in order, are to: stay safe, stay friends, and go like hell.
*Check your ego at the start line.

And I’m Spent!!!!! Ok, that’s the full download about getting started in Adventure Racing from my skull to yours. The rest is up to you! So get out there with your pals and make it happen—soon. It will be a life changing and life affirming experience you will never forget. See you “Out There”!

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