by Carol Cronin
(Originally published on the website: Carol Newman Cronin – Author, Editor, Olympian)
In a recent issue of Seahorse Magazine, I found myself both surprised and inspired (once again) by super-coach Rod Davis’ column. “Doing No Wrong” starts off by talking about those incredible regattas where everything falls into place, a syndrome he calls the Midas Touch. It ends by recommending that we all think like B-teamers. Huh?
I don’t know about you, but for me the term “B-teamers” has always had a negative connotation. Who wants to be thought of as second-string, not the best, warming the bench while the biggest games are played?
Rod’s point is that B-teamers just go out every day and do their best. “When you stop thinking about winning,” he writes, “and start thinking about how you sail the best you can, and how you sail even better next time, you start thinking like a B-teamer…They always look forward, and enjoy the racing more.”
I might not have taken these words as inspiration for today’s blog post if we weren’t just dipping our toes into a new decade. Over the holidays, I thought a lot about resolutions in both writing and sailing. 2020, no matter how you frame it, is gonna be a big year for me. On the writing side, I’ve taken on two new clients and will finally get to share my next novel with all of you (June 16, thanks for asking). On the sailing side, we have two international Snipe championships and several national/local regattas on the schedule. Then there’s the numerical and symmetrical loveliness of “2020,” a year that surely deserves special attention to focus. So even though I don’t usually pay much attention to such things, it seemed like this most recent calendar-flip deserved a resolution.
But I also don’t want to make promises I can’t keep, and I hadn’t found anything both big enough to be worthy and personal enough to seem achievable—until I read Rod’s piece. “Think Like a B Teamer” is not a new idea for me; it’s just a new way to state an approach that has already helped me meet each of my toughest challenges. I learned it just in time to win an Olympic Trials, and a few years later applied it to writing and publishing three books—though “winning” as a writer is much easier to self-define. For this entire century, focusing on what I can control has enabled me to embrace the challenges of a free-range, freelance life; keeping a writing and editing business going, learning new skills, staying fit even as age and laziness try to take over.