Addressing Persistent Weaknesses
by Mike Coughlin
Addressing weaknesses is a tricky thing. Once identified, it is tempting to either fight them like a gladiator or avoid dealing with them altogether. The latter approach will ensure weaknesses remain so, while the former is likely to erode strengths and lead to burnout. I know this to be true because I have tried each of these strategies!
So how hard should we work on our weaknesses? First, it is worth noting that a weakness may actually be a hidden strength if it has never been deliberately trained, as many adult-onset athletes have joyously discovered. If this is the case, regular training of the activity or skill will reveal this wonderful news. If it is a persistent weakness, such as my swimming for example, the following strategies can help.
With motivation, context, and creativity, weaknesses can be improved with time and energy left over to do what we all like best -- maximizing our strengths!
Enjoy the ride.
Mike is an Ontario-based, long-time triathlete and coach with experience at all distances, including a second place at the 2011 Ultraman World Championships as well as multiple ironman finishes. To learn more about Mike, you can visit his personal blog.