Lessons from a Triathlete

“How do you prepare for a triathlon?”

I asked this question of my new friend Alyssa who was sitting next to me on a Southwest Airlines flight to Baltimore recently.

Alyssa had opened her reading material for the flight… a large paperback book called The Triathlete’s Training bible. It piqued my interest because I am currently working with a client who is preparing for triathlons himself. I was curious to hear what the magic formula was for creating success in this arena.

So I asked my question, then waited for the big reveal.

Her answer was both simple and brilliant…and a reminder about how we can accomplish  anything, really. She said: “Basically, I set a goal, then I break that goal down into manageable action items. Then I commit to executing those action items.”

So, for Alyssa it meant establishing goals in running, biking and swimming…then taking small steps toward those goals every day, every week and every month. It meant planning her work and working her plan.

That was the big reveal?

I found myself smiling. This was a very young person who clearly understood the template for accomplishment. And she knew it.

Brilliant. This is the template for how to accomplish anything important….for how to create anything you want in your life.

It works for triathlons, building a business and even learning to play the game of golf at a higher level.

What a great reminder. And what an important Mental Game lesson for those of you on the Single Plane Swing journey.

Set a goal. Break that goal down into manageable action plans. Execute to those plans.

How are you approaching your own SPS journey? Are you expecting to reach your goal of shooting sub-80 rounds on a regular basis by next week? Or are you taking a more measured approach?

And think of the productive mindset you can create for yourself if you just break down your goal into manageable action plans…then simply work those plans.

What would it look like?

More important, what would it FEEL like when you knew you were ON THE PATH…and you KNEW that you would eventually get where you wanted to go?…and imagine if it didn’t matter WHEN you achieved your goal…

Part of creating a healthy and productive mindset on the golf course is to take away the anxiousness and pressure associated with outcome. When you break down your goal of breaking 80 into smaller chunks, the work within each of those chunks is easier. It is less “weighty”…doesn’t feel as heavy.

This makes it MORE LIKELY that you will arrive at your goal. Not less likely.

So, you don’t have to achieve your goal today or this week. Just be on the path, chipping away at your larger goal by accomplishing the smaller goals along the way.

If it is good enough for a triathlete, it’s good enough for us!

Have a great week!



Paul Monahan

Paul Monahan

Paul Monahan is an International Coach Federation (ICF) - credentialed coach working in the arena of human potential. Paul’s clients are leaders, executives, athletes and musicians who are serious about transforming how they perform in critical moments. His experiences in leadership and development over a highly-successful 25-year corporate career have created powerful context and understanding for the leaders and executives he coaches. Additionally, his passions and experiences in sports and music have uniquely positioned Paul to profoundly impact his clients in those areas as well.

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