Going for It: Woman Warrior

More lessons from the beam

In a previous post, I described my two primary sources of distraction as a young gymnast: my competitors and my own teammates.

We all know what an energy vampire it can be to place too much attention on the competition and I'll share some of my favorite insights on that topic in another post.  Distractions closer to home are often subtle, but much more disruptive.

With 12 gymnasts and just four high balance beams, my teammates and I would work three to a beam as we went through our warm up exercises.  It was my favorite apparatus. A coach once called me a "beam specialist." Often, I couldn't help but observe what the girls around me were working on. Sometimes,  I'd even weigh in on their technique or execution.

That must mean I was perfect, right? No. Try as I might, a Nadia I was not.

And therein lies the problem. Being caught up in the practice of my teammates meant I could not properly focus and place adequate attention on my own practice. It also didn't help me win many friends among my teammates.

Fortunately, my coach's reminder to keep my eye's on my own beam ultimately lead to a more explicit, yet compassionate, intervention.

Throughout my adult life I've kept this lesson close to heart. While some members of my business school cohort took a controlling approach to group projects, an MBA staple, I was collaborative, but purposely unimposing.  I've found that, when working among adults, trusting them to get the job done however they see fit is essential to success. That, in turn, also ensures that I will have the focus to do my best as well.

Alexis Rodich

 |  December 7, 2010; 6:37 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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