In this second part of my interview with Toby Stanton, we discuss his team of juniors and what the ingredients are that has made the team so incredibly and consistently successful. Hot Tubes riders and stars and stripes jerseys are kinda like peanut butter and jelly. There are other things you can do with peanut butter, but peanut butter with jelly doesn’t really surprise anyone.
Stanton is incredibly candid and he gives insight not just to what makes his riders ride so well, but also how he sees his relationship to him and how he defines leadership. He could teach a course.
This is one interview that is so full of keen insight into the human condition I expect I’ll be listening back to this one for years to come.
In the interview, Stanton talks about a document that he gives to his riders called “11 Traits of a Champion.” I’ve reprinted it below.
The Team’s Mission:
We at Hot Tubes believe in developing all aspects of the cyclist. Being a great teammate, being a great leader in the world on and off the bike, these
are the hallmarks of Hot Tubes riders. We believe that the experiences gained as part of our cycling program prepare each athlete for national &
international cycling competitions. We also see the critical life lessons learned and shared, as they meld and transform into a team working selflessly, seamlessly for each other and the common good of the whole.
11 Traits of a Champion
1) Calmness: Champions demonstrate a stoic calmness that allows them to focus on the task at hand. No prima donna outbursts or ridiculous demands on friends or trainers; Just calm commitment.
2) Self-Assured: Champions, the really great ones, never really boast. They have a quiet self assuredness that transcends talk, and they seldom distract themselves with such foolishness.
3) Aggressiveness: Champions seem to be very aggressive. Strong moves are indicative of the outstanding athlete. Yet the moves whether made by
design or by instinct are not made frivolously but rather only at times when their chances can be greatly enhanced by such a maneuver.
4) Tenacious: Certainly one of the primary traits that all champions’ show is tenacity. They just keep on coming whether it be a part of their training, a race or another part of their lives. Adversity is only a step in the process rather than an impassable hurdle.
5) Not afraid to fail: To a degree, we are all afraid to fail. The champion seems to be willing to risk it in spite of the possibility of catastrophe.
6) Patience: Part of being a champion is the realization that patience is an integral part of success. Patience is not just a trait, it is a tool that a
champion uses to a definite advantage.
7) Self Direction: This does not mean the champion is self-coached or self centered, but rather that the champion knows where he or she is going and will use the best available means at their disposal to achieve that end.
8) Consistency: Champions seem to demonstrate a great deal of consistency, both in temperament and performance.
9) Inward Focus: The really great champions seem unconcerned about whom they are competing against. The riders in a particular event only
provide a standard by which they will apply and measure themselves. The champion competes against their own abilities and limitations. The champion does not look outward, blaming others for a loss, but rather inward to those
areas that can be improved for the future.
10) Willingness to suffer: Great champions do not wish to suffer any more than you or I, but seem to accept the pain of athletic suffering as part of their endeavor. They seem to force more out of their bodies than other riders do, especially when the going gets tough. Much of this sport, at all levels, is decided by a mental commitment that allows the body to react accordingly.
An eleventh attribute that is harder to define in a single word and is probably as important as any. Ultimately, a bicycle race is just a bicycle race, lives are not saved, the homeless are not housed. Champions seem to realize this as well, and realize the lessons of racing and training are really only valid when applied to our life as a whole.