Monday, January 11, 2016

The #ExecutiveFUNction of @NASCAR Racing / America's Tradition #teamwork #youmatter

Driving a race car takes more than stepping on a gas pedal and turning a wheel. It takes epic executive function skill usage. A NASCAR driver must know how to gauge, pace and focus on an ever-changing battle field where the other racers jockey for position in order to win. Like a game of chess, race car drivers must use their foresight (anticipate, predict) and keen sense of timing to know when to make a move, pull ahead, hold tight or come in for a pit stop. The pit crew must also have tip-top  executive function skills as they recalibrate, change up and get the super-charger roadster back on the road in two shakes of a lamb's tale. The road crew of individuals each have their key duties which they must focus on as they work together in harmony to bring up to speed and release the speedster back into the race.

Of course, from the stands, it may look as if they cars are just going around in round, yet the relationships that bring each racing team to the track form the foundation for winning or losing. As in a classroom, the best of a student is brought forth according to the instructional approach of the teacher. In a similar way, the racer's relationship with the coach is as much mentorship as it is a technical. Their ability to work well together can spell victory.

The growth mindset is like this also. We focus on having an effective and efficient process with our goals and priorities in sight. Given that it matters how we attain small and large victories, a great coach will guide and work with the student to bring about better and better functional process.

As part of my foray into being the best coach (and player) I can be, I understand that leading a great team is as much about leading from the front as it is listening to the players. The valuable feedback give that comes with listening demonstrates a keen sense of knowing how to master our game. No one person has all the answers and is right all the time. NASCAR racers don't win races, the team wins it. This includes everyone working in close relationship with one another. A breakdown of one of the components, such as one of the team members not pulling their weight, or being on-point can throw a monkey wrench into the whole endeavor towards winning. In that sense, the guy or gal who changes the back left tire in a NASCAR race is as valuable to the enterprise as is the actual racer.

We all rise best when we rise together.


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