Throughout my athletic career I have heard the words "Teamwork makes the dream work" on more occasions than I particularly care to remember. In many ways, the idea of depending on a team for success has never meshed well with my own strong sense of individual ownership and advocacy for my athletics. This was likely what initially pushed me to pursue individual sports. However, as I reflect on this past week of competition in the Los Angeles World Cup for modern pentathlon, I find myself drawn to a vivid moment where having a teammate from Cheyenne Fencing Society not only helped me stay relaxed but also helped me to be more successful on the fencing strip.
Naomi Ross (a fellow club member and member of the US modern pentathlon team) took on many roles this past week acting as a strip coach, an equipment consultant, and a friendly face reminding me to keep my point in line, to move my arm first and to focus on fencing my game. She helped keep me calm and focused and set such a good example of teamwork that I was compelled to return the favor the next day during her competition (with hopefully similar results). In the photo above Naomi gives Josh some tips.
Cheyenne fencing was well represented at this World Cup with 3 competitors in the men's field and 2 competitors in the women's field and I think I speak for all of us when I say that the camaraderie forged through hours of training together helps not only to make us better athletes individually but also to make us better as a unit. It seems like generations of coaches had it right...teamwork does make the dream work...because even in individual sports you never truly compete alone.
Below Naomi give tips to Isaac on the strip.
The team from Cheyenne had an incredible experience in LA, the team spirit and camaraderie between the whole US team was something that will stay with this group for a long time.
The photo at the top includes 4 of the 5 Cheyenne members that went to the World Cup. Seamus Millet, Isaac Neivert, Naomi Ross, Josh Spegman and missing is Samantha Achterberg who made it to the finals.