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Respect & Appreciation for Triathlon and Water Polo
24 January 2013
Triathlon & Water Polo Foundation Elective Workshop 24 January
 story by Jesse Phillips
I always enjoy presenting to Triathlon and Water Polo because of their harmonious and respectful appreciation of the others' sport. This was a particularly enjoyable workshop with each athlete fully engaged in the exercises and discussions. All athletes really enjoyed building towers out of marshmallows and pasta sticks, which brought out creativity and ingenuity within the group. [See photos for examples of the marshmallow/pasta towers].
I respect both these groups and for different reasons.
Triathlon- the solitude of training and competing in triathlon is something to be admired, especially at a young age. One sport in which self-determination is paramount, for there is no one else who will swim, cycle and run you from the start to finish.  The question that comes to mind when I consider Triathlon is: What motivates you to push yourself from start to finish, when the going gets tough? From my experience in isolation sports - for which marathon kayaking is one that I can relate - the best way to handle the motivation from one minute to the next, when your mind drifts in and out of concentration to the task and blood glucose (blood sugar) levels meander from surplus to depletion, is finding a breathing rhythm. Breathing is a tool to link harmony of mind and body - when the body is saying "STOP" and the mind is screaming "NO PROBLEM" yet in the same string of thought "I really want/need to finish off strong". By finding a patterned breath that matches your cadence or stroke you will automatically find a greater peace between mind and body to work more in harmony with the moment (and the pain). So when the pinch comes, monitor how you are breathing before thinking whether you want to give up - finding your rhythm will automatically call attention away from the uncomfortable feeling.
Water Polo - working as one unit to attack and defend the goal whilst swimming up and down the pool, diving and pushing away from opponents - all whilst handling a slippery ball.   So the question that comes to mind when I consider Water Polo is: How do you work as a team, under the pressures of competition? I work in a team of two when I compete - double kayak - and one of the most important elements to working as a team is knowing your role and in addition the role of your teammate/s. By consolidating this information you can not only stay focused on your task in the moment of competition, but also stay accountable to the positions you or your teammate/s hold within the team objective in a post-competition review (which is also important). In simple terms I have expectations of my backseat partner, and myself, likewise he expects me to do jobs that complement his position. So if you are not sure of your role within your team, ask your coach and ask your teammates whether they know their role within the team.
A top start to the day and well worth the time for both athletes and presenters alike, a great workshop by Kate Bobridge as always!
Until next time. Aim for gold in every day!

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