Three Seconds Until the End of the Season

The season is half over – perhaps a little more than half.  This is the time when I start to do predictions for races.  I found out last year that I can predict the results of races pretty accurately using the charting method I used last year (points to the first of a three part post).  This year I have tried to use the same method in a computer program.  I used the program to make the predictions last week.  They weren’t too bad.  I’ll keep making improvements.  I think my charting method was more accurate but much more time-intensive.

The Three Second Rule:

In making my predictions last year, I developed the “three-second-rule”  If Team “A” had beaten Team “B” by at least three seconds in every final (heats don’t count as much), Team “A” would always beat Team “B”.

This might seem counter-intuitive.  Three seconds only represents 1% of a 5 minute race.  And certainly we see times all over the place from week to week.  No matter – the rule holds.

Now – since you have all learned critical thinking in school – you would immediately protest my assertion.  I agree, there are exceptions.  The ones I see most often are:

  • Crabs (by the leading team)
  • Equipment Problems.
  • Line-up Changes
  • Boat Changes

Aside from those – I believe this rule is accurate 90-95% of the time.  This consistency allows me to make accurate predictions.

What does this mean to you?  For that you have to ask where your team sits with regards to it’s goals for this year.  If to meet your goal you need to improve by three seconds against your faster competitors, you are almost guaranteed to fail.

I know you are working hard.  They are working hard too.  Technique or muscles won’t get you there – you can’t gain time appreciably faster than your opponents can.  Aside from wishing that something happens to them during the race (and really – how pathetic is that?) – now is the time when you have to look at difficult choices.

How close are you to your goal?  Is now the time to change it?

How important is your goal?  What are you willing to do to achieve it?

If the goal remains your top priority – it is within reach – and you are willing to do whatever it takes, I only see three choices for the team:

  1. Change Team Dynamics. You are only as strong as your weakest link – can you get everyone performing at peak capacity and dedication?
  2. Change the Boat. Change shells, change the setup.  There might be something that you missed or don’t understand.  It might be the key even if it isn’t orthodox.
  3. Changes the line-up. The hardest choice.  It the goal bigger than the individuals?

None of these changes come easy.  All have pitfalls.  All can backfire.  Not everyone has the same goals.  But if you look at your goals and you are more than three seconds away – now is the time to choose.

Best of luck to everyone.

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