Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Can team mates make you better?


In the work that you do, can your co-workers make you more productive or less productive?

That's a question I came across today (on, of all places) billjamesonline.net. That question came to mind as I was watching some of the U.S. Olympic Track and Field selections. The U.S. selection process is simple - have a race and the top 3 make the team.

But, I was wondering how often - if ever - does the selection process result in picking someone who actually pulls down the team performance. It is probably quite rare. Rare because the athletes are quite good and know how to perform at their best when it really matters. Rare because the Olympic coaches are probably good at managing interactions and maximizing "productivity."

And the other question becomes - how often does the selection process result in picking someone who pulls up (or pushes up or whatever the expression should be) the team performance? It might be often. You'd hope that top athletes would have, among their other attributes, the ability to help their teammates perform well. And coaches should have some abilities to help the athletes help each other.

I think some national O' teams pay attention to these issues. I remember reading about some "team building" camps for the Norwegian national team. Perhaps some of the pre-selections (i.e. selecting specific runners well before having selection races) is motivated by an expectation that it improves the overall team performance.

By the way, the Billjamesonline.net poll current results are:

75% (a) of course
14% (b) only a little bit
11% (c) not really

Only a few people (36) have voted.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 7:35 PM


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