Playing in Axiology's Six Dimensions - Evan Lysacek
Dr. Carol's Comments
Living in 3, Skating in 6 Dimensions - Evan Lysacek
Evan Lysacek may live in the three dimensional world but he skates and performs in Six Dimensions; the Six Dimensions of Sports Axiology. Lysacek's interview with Meredith Viera caught my attention because, as he answered questions after winning the gold, his words and phrases sounded like copy from a Sports Axiology Textbook. I don't know whether his coach, Frank Carroll, intentionally uses the axiology six dimensions, but if he does not, then through his extensive experience and intuition he put the formula for success in place.
(photo by vincenzo pinto afp getty images)
What are the Six Dimensions?
The Six Dimensions that I'm referring to are first, the Three Dimensions of Personal Awareness which consider:
- How well do I understand my personal strengths and weaknesses and how objective am I about them. (Self-Esteem)
- How well do I understand and appreciate myself as an athlete (Role Awareness)
- How personal and vivid are my goals and what's my commitment to them (Self-Direction).
In addition we assess and help develop the Three Dimensions of Game and Team Awareness which consider:
- How well do I know the people on my team (including coaches, trainers and teammates) and sport and how do I appreciate them (Awareness of Others)
- How well do I execute and adjust when practicing and competing. (Playing the Game)
- How well do I understand and value the elements of the sport including the rules, strcture and design of the performance strategy (Game Systems)
When we assess these Six Dimensions we learn about an athlete's Mental Toughness, Commitment, Confidence, Emotionality, Coachability, Team Play, Self-Talk, Performance under Pressure and ability to fully engage as an athlete. We learn thinking and emotional strengths and can be specific about what to coach in order to have a player who is balanced in thinking and is fluid within his or her sport. As I listened to Lysacek, I could hear his strength in each of these areas.
What did Lysacek say?
It's during the first 6 minutes of the 8 minute interview with Viera that you'll hear the 6 Dimensions come to life. (my apologies for the 30 sec commercial - I can't figure out how to get past it!)
For a shortened version, these are my notes.
- About his goals and commitment: After Torino it wasn't enough to go back to the Olympics, there was a need to get on that podium. (The other skaters) provided more inspiration than I've ever had. They were a driving force for the last 4 years.
- About his role: All I could do was my job and if I get wrapped up in that other stuff, it's not a healthy thought process. (After advice from my coach) I got back to what my job was. I love the ice.
- About his self regard: I knew I could do it.
Game and Team Awareness:
- About the Performance Plan: We had a 4 minute and 40 second gaining points with every step. (Also note that Lysacek won based on maximizing the new scoring system so he didn't have to do the quad to win. He and his coach planned ahead using their knowledge of the system to their advantage.)
- About Playing the Game: I spent so much time perfecting every step. I spent countless hours working on some of the most mundane moves. I've done these moves a thousand times, a hundred thousand times.
- About Appreciating Others: My first thought was for my coach, to give him a great Olympics. I want to make my family proud and my friends proud and my coaches proud. To see my flag, to hear the national anthem.
For us, mere mortals
The Olympic wins are dramatic and because of the level of performance we know that the athletes and teams and coaches and families have put in years of dedication and training for the performance of a few minutes when it really counts. In my opinion, Lysacek, as he has performed this week, is an example of the fulfillment of the Good of Sports.
Whether as Olympians or "mere mortals" we can learn from Lysacek. Regardless of what we play and where we play, I think each of us can achieve a personal best with pride and satisfaction through the development and appreciation of all Six Dimensions.
The first step to your own Six Dimensions development is evaluating yourself which can be done with a validated assessment by our 6D Sports team. At the very least write down how you would describe yourself in each dimension and then ask someone who knows you well to do the same. What is your sport? Is it tennis, soccer, golf, ultimate, skating, Ironman? How would you describe yourself in each of the 6 Dimensions for yourself and your sport? How do the 6 Dimensions of sports performance translate to school and job performance?
For more information about the 6 Dimensions of Axiology visit http://www.6dsports.com/axiology-definition/
For the Coach-Vue (short axiology assessment) visit