This weekend after not playing ping-pong in about 7 years my friend convinced me to come play with him. As you would guess it having not played in seven years my skills were not the sharpest. However I came close in a few games and after I while using about all of the ping-pong skill I had, (which is miniscule at best) I was finally able to beat him in one game, and I was pretty stoked to keep playing. My friends excitement for the game was contagious, and had caught his pysch to start and keep playing that night.
Similarly if you want to keep going and growing you are going to need someone to help keep yourself stoked, and working towards a goal. Self motivation is always going to be needed but it is also always going to be a struggle sometimes the couch and nachos seem like better option. Having a good partner to train, motivate and compete with, will help you stay focused and work to better yourself.
A good training partner a great tool to help with your own development. Just last night I was in the climbing gym and my friend who is rarely there was so excited about his work out plan he was doing through the Anderson Brothers books, and asked if I wanted to join. To be honest I did not really want to but again the contagious energy of someone else motivated me to follow through with it. A good partner helps to get you on the right path and stay on it. And later through the process of the climbing training he was able to see and correct my form that I was oblivious too. A good partner will help correct the mistakes you cannot see.
So I have been lucky to have friends who have helped me stay on the path and help develop, if you do not have one yet here are some traits to look for.
-More Skilled or More Experienced: Having someone who is further along the path than you will help give you tips and knowledge they have had to learn the hard way, and may help short cut some of the process. As well as trying to keep up with someone better helps keep you motivated
-Similar Goals: Try to find someone who trying to grow and develop in the same areas you are. Having the same project, or a similar project will help you and your partner train in more similar ways, it’s hard to work with someone wanting to get train for strength when you working endurance, its hard to make both work together.
-Reliability: Having someone that you know you can count on is huge. Nothing ruins your motivation to practice, or train as having people bail on you. Rob Piszm on the Enormocast describes his partners as you’re on the list til you are off it, show up late without calling you’re off.
It’s not always easy to find people who fit all of these categories and are looking to be on the same path but when you find them be thankful they will help make each other better.