A Little Talking Goes a Long Way (Ep. 2 Transcript and Show Notes)

Episode 2: A Little Talking Goes a Long Way

NADIA KEAN

I’ve been on various sports teams my whole life. And no matter what sport it was that I was practicing, there was one commonality. And it was that we started every single practice with warm-up. And no matter what team I've been on, there's always been somebody who might stop doing the warm-up. In some cases, it was actually myself. In other cases, it was a teammate of mine. In track, we were starting with a slow light warm-up jog. It might have been somebody that pulled over to the side and had a stretch. In rowing if we were in singles and starting with something called a pictural, it would have been a rower who did a little bit of that drill, then stopped, grabbed some water, stretched a little bit and then they started up again on their own. In roller derby over the years, no matter which team I’ve been on, which surface, a banked track surface or a flat track surface, it's the same thing. So, whatever warm-up the person leading practice would deem, you know, good for us to get our body prepared for sport, ultimately somebody would stop skating and they'd pull off to the side and they'd stretch.

Now, sometimes it was fine and people would, you know, mind their own business essentially and just let them step off the track, do their thing, and then get back on. But in other cases it was obvious that the person who needed to take a moment for themselves was being judged. And I remember on one of the teams I used to be on, you know, there was even somebody that looked quite embarrassed every single time she had to stop. And when I was younger and I knew way less about the human body I would even think, “Oh my god. That person's weak.” Or, “They’re not capable.” And maybe I'd even roll my eyes or look at a teammate and be like, “Ugh. That person.” But, you know, later on as I learned more about the human body and the human brain, I realized that that was actually a really unfair thing to do.

(Music by the Little Bicycles)

NADIA KEAN

Hey, everybody. Thanks for tuning in to the second episode of the Strong Athletic Podcast. How’s it going? My name’s Nadia Kean. I’m your host. In this podcast, we study the science and art of coaching and being coached. We talk about why people get into sports, why they stay, and also why they might choose to leave. We put focus toward the people on the fringe of sports, the ones who are less likely to have people paying attention to them, wanting them to stay. When coach’s lack resources that they need to coach well and athletes aren't given the resources that they need to learn, sports can go from being empowering and fun to just really frustrating. My apparel company, Strong Athletic, and this podcast are in alignment in that we just want to keep these people in sports. And so we decided to create this podcast as a resource for people. This podcast is totally free for you. All that you need is access to the internet to listen to it. And it's because we have badass sponsors.

Today’s sponsor is none other than Pivotstar Athletic Apparel. Pivotstar makes tough clothing for strong women. Find them at pivotstar.com.

(02:48)

On the previous episode, Episode One, I gave you a list of 20 questions that I wanted you to think about in regards to why you’re in sports, what got you there, and what was keeping you there. I didn't mention this on last week's episode, but in some cases not every single one of those questions is going to be applicable to you. For instance, if you do a sport by yourself, you might not have teammates. Or if you play a sport in which everybody coaches one another, then you might not have one person that you look to as coach. So, that might seem like it's not as relevant. So, just don't force it. And in upcoming episodes you might find ways that those questions actually do seem like they apply to you even though right now maybe they don’t. Over the next few weeks, we are going to be incorporating some of the questions from the list into the topic of the day. And if you're a linear thinker, it might drive you a little bit crazy because we’re not actually going to discuss the questions in the order that I gave then to you in. There is great news. If you really wanted to go over questions one through four today, you're going to be able to next week when we talk about the core value of coaches. But today we're going to focus on questions 11, 12, 13, and 14. Now, if you haven't answered those questions yet, or you didn't listen to Episode One and you don't even really know what we’re talking about now, that's not a big deal. And you can keep on listening now if you want to. Or you can pause this episode, go back and listen to Episode One, and then come back to us. The beauty is that you have freedom to do what you want and there's no judgment here. And also, I won't actually know what you're doing because I'm talking to you from a room in Austin, Texas where none of you are, and so I can’t actually see you. Good to know how this all works. Isn't it?

All right. So, let's just get into it. Questions 11 through 14 had to do with coaches and athletes, as does the whole podcast. So, that’s not very surprising. But questions 11 and 12 specifically were for coaches. And they were asking you to talk about the athlete that you liked working with the most, and then the athlete that you didn't like working with at all, and then to have you ponder why that was. So, why those relationships were either so great or so hard for you. Questions 13 and 14 were from the perspective of the athlete. And I want to know which coach you enjoy working under the most, and which coach you don't like working with. And then I wanted you to think about why that was.

Now, let’s backtrack a little bit and talk about a story that I told in the last episode. So in last week's episode, I spoke about a coach that I did not enjoy working under. And I actually ended up leaving the sport that I was in because I found her coaching to be so negative. And I don't recall her ever pulling me to the side and asking me about my intentions, or what was going on, or why I was there. If I wanted to be there, if I didn't want to be there. I never saw her make a correlation between my under-performance and how she treated me. And this is problematic.

Now before we dive into how that story ties in to today's story, I'd like to tell you about a skater who I coached privately for a few weeks when I was in her city coaching her derby league. She was the type of athlete who is driven. She's motivated, determined. And she was already doing very well but she wanted to do better. There was only one issue. About five to seven minutes into every single practice, she was in agony. Excruciating pain. It was her calf. While working with me privately, it wasn't an issue because her time was my time and my time was her time. So she could just stop skating and we could just chat about what she wanted to focus on for the day. However at practice it was a big issue. And I think that there were two reasons for it. One, the social impact that we spoke about it in today’s intro. So basically, that culture of teammates wanting one another to buck up and toughen up and just push through. And then the other issue was that this skater didn’t have the body type that people associate with being athletic.