Last week I got the privilege of going to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA. It’s an event I’ve enjoyed attending many times over the years, and when I’m there, one of my favorite teams to watch is the Japanese team. It’s not because they always win (though this is usually the case), it’s because they’ve really mastered the fundamentals of their sport.
There was one particularly good play I saw last weekend. Japan were on defense, and the other team hit a hard ball to third base. Without even having to think about it, the catcher from Japan threw his helmet down and actually beat the runner to first base in order to back up his first baseman. Because he had trained and prepared for that moment, he knew without thinking about it that his third baseman would probably be rushed to get a throw off and may over-throw or miss the first baseman, so he was there to assist.
So, I thought about how this play could relate to our sport of triathlon.
Most of you all are entering your peak race, or are about to over the next few weeks. After you complete that race, you enter into a period called the off-season. Oftentimes we think we’ll just train really hard for a few months and then enter the spring even stronger and get our best results. However, I want to challenge you in this time to consider if there are any areas within the three disciplines that you’ve neglected, and think about how you can improve those areas.
In your swim stroke- are there things that are slowing you down that you haven’t addressed because it’s been too tedious? Have you settled for a lower cadence on the bike when you could really push that higher and get better results? And in running, oftentimes we think our run economy is great, but in almost any runner there’s improvements that can be made in your stride to get better results.
So in this off-season, I challenge you to take a look at your form and your fundamentals. It will help you immensely heading into next season.