Picture credit: USA Cycling Regional Talent ID Camp Davis, CA.(Top From Right to Left: Julian Rosenbloom, Noah Lindenthal, Taylor Zachry, Paul Imler, Kris Castillo, Isabella Brunner, Zach Gottesman Bottom from Right to Left: Creighton Gruber, Ivy Koester, Miguel Almaguer-Vega, Riley Kan, Ari Elkins, Abigail Youngwerth, Cooper Anderson — with Ivy Koester and Zach Gottesman)
Last week I had the honor of presenting for 14 youth athletes and three coaches for USA Cycling Talent ID Camp in Davis, California. For those that do not know much about the USA Cycling’s Regional Talent ID Camps here is the mission and goals from their website:
“The mission of USA Cycling’s Regional Talent ID Camps is to Provide USA Cycling with Jr. Talent Evaluations while Offering Athletes a Pathway to Develop Their Cycling Ability. Our Talent ID Camps are the first step for young male and female athletes to enter into the USA Cycling development pipeline, providing them guidance and development towards their cycling future. USA Cycling Regional Talent ID Camps are for athletes racing age 14 to 19 years and attendees should have some racing experience.
The primary goal of the Talent ID Camps is to recognize athletes who, at an early age, show signs of potential future success in cycling. Receiving instruction from some of USA Cycling’s finest coaches, the camps also provide the necessary framework to improve the athletes skillset, thus progressing their cycling development. Regional Talent ID Camps provide vital input towards selecting riders for international competition and/or a national camp. 80 percent of athletes invited to our National Talent ID Camp have attended a Regional Talent ID Camp.” Website: http://www.usacycling.org/regional-talent-id-camps.htm
I have a deep commitment and passion for offering my services up to youth sport development. I have said it several times over my blog that sport, mainly soccer, changed my life. It was coaches and fellow athletes throughout my life that helped instill and reinforce key life success principles. So when Kevin Dessart, USA Cycling Director of Coaching Education and Regional Manager, offered me the opportunity to speak at their I was beyond grateful and humbled to be able to speak to his athletes.
I focused the presentation/workshop around helping the athlete’s develop their own champion mindset plan. I introduced and discussed key success principles of conception of goals, commitment, consistency, character, confidence, and a few others. Each athlete had a worksheet to complete during each section where they got to write down and share with the group what their goals and/or focus cues were. It was energizing, fun and challenging all at the same time.
However, it wasn’t just the athletes that were learning something, I did too. I was reminded that everyone, youth included, want to be talked with and not talked to. They want to be heard and do have deep insight to share if we offer a space. That group energy and sharing is way more powerful than we think, especially for youngins. That there is courage in speaking your goals out-loud in a group of your peers, especially teenage peers! There is courage in speaking out-loud and acknowledging your positive characteristics in a group. There is courage in allowing yourself to been seen and heard in a group of your peers. By the end, I walked away feeling deeply inspired by the open-mindedness and courage that these youth athletes demonstrated. While I don’t typically work 1:1 with youth athletes, this experience was a good reminder of why. Groups are powerful! Each person plays a role in the process- of offering, receiving and teaching. Youth every much need that expereince. I was taught in graduate school that groups are like symphonies- the facilitator is the conductor but it’s the group that really makes the music.
Thank you Kevin and USA Cycling for offering me this deeply humbling opportunity!