Clubhouse Chronicles: Core Values + What Technology Can't Teach Us
This article was originally published by Snowboard Coach Josh Ganz in the Aspen Times as part of AVSC's column, Clubhouse Chronicles.
Hey Siri, what is teamwork?
Alexa, what is commitment?
OK Google, what is integrity?
Simply put, these are AVSC’s core values, but they’re not merely simple values to understand and practice.
As the idea of Moore’s Law (the notion that computer processing power doubles roughly every two years) integrates its way into all aspects of our lives, we are increasingly able to connect with people whose thoughts and opinions align with our own. Unfortunately, it can also provide a means to disconnect from the immediate social circles around us. (I’ll just put my headphones in to avoid talking to the person next to me on the bus.) It also promotes a sense of immediate gratification that can turn people off to the concepts of failure and perseverance. (I posted just a moment ago, how many likes have I got?)
This might sound like a scathing rant on technology, but it’s not. It’s an observation of the fact that our world is changing. That being said, we at AVSC feel that there are some things — beyond athletic feats — that are best learned in person. It’s very important to instill values and ideals within our athletes that might not be as easily learned through technology.
Teamwork is the collaborative effort of a group to achieve a task in the most effective and efficient way, according to Siri, but what’s that like in practice? It means working together with your peers to come up with better solutions, no matter the situation. While skiing and snowboarding might seem like individualistic sports, the teammates learn to get along, “play nice,” travel together, support each other and their efforts. These are life skills that are needed “to infinity and beyond” (to quote a lovable technologically advanced toy that needed to learn to cooperate with those around him). Humans are social creatures. No one makes it out alive without the help of those around them.
Commitment is the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. (lexico.com — Siri fell short.) Not all of our athletes are going to become Olympians or medalists at the X Games, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t learn to commit themselves to tasks, causes, efforts and more in life. We are aiming to produce some of the best humans possible, and we want them to contribute to the world, and that doesn’t happen without commitment, a strong and positive work ethic.
Integrity is the practice of being honest and showing a consistent and uncompromising adherence to strong moral and ethical principles and values. (Again, Siri.) Personally, I want to leave this place better than I found it. I prefer to surround myself with those who feel likewise, and hope to inspire all of our athletes to do the same.
It’s not always easy; it might require the help of our friends to support us. It’s not always simple and quick; we might need to show determination and patience. It’s not something we can simply comprehend from asking our devices to define.
It’s about growth, and learning, and experience. As AVSC coaches these are the things we look to instill in our athletes, on and off the mountain, so that they can become not only the best athletes they personally can be, but the best people they personally can be.
That’s why we work face-to-face every day on the hill, in the gym, in the classroom, to encourage teamwork, commitment and integrity.