THE BLOG

The Landmine Game: Learn What Kind of Team Player You Are

08/16/2010 05:45 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Nikki Stone Olympic gold medalist and bestselling author

Several years ago, I served as a board member of a program with the United States Olympic Committee, where eight Olympic medalists would help mentor future potential medalists. We would play different games and activities that would teach the current athletes important lessons in finding their own success. My fellow Olympians would go through training sessions ourselves to make sure we understood the important lessons to be learned.

One game we played, called Landmine, taught us about relying on a partner for teamwork and support. One team member was blindfolded and the other would act as a guide to direct him or her through a minefield of obstacles--chairs, balloons, buckets, puddles, etc. The goal was to make it to the other side of the room without touching any of the obstacles. The "guide" would call out when to step forward or sideways, take a big or small step, turn at an angle, duck down, and so on.

The game turned out to be much more challenging than I'd anticipated. I was amazed at how difficult it was to relinquish control and rely on my teammate's advice. When we switched positions and I became the "guide," I realized how crucial my input was for my partner's success.

A million analogies immediately flooded my mind, not the least of which was that sometimes someone else might have a better perspective on the route we should take. Do others trust my input? Am I finding the right people to guide me? Am I using other people's support when it's offered?

It helps me now to imagine going into every new venture blindfolded. Who would have thought that sometimes it helps to walk around with blinders on?

Motivational Weight Management Tip

My experience of working with the Biggest Loser contestants and Symtrimics has inspired me to leave motivational diet, health, and wellness tips at the end of all of my blogs. These tools will be driven from the actual advice shared in my weekly motivational Transformation Talks. This week's tip: Don't give up on your diet because you are overwhelmed thinking of how long it could take you to reach your ultimate goal. Use your goals as motivation to keep the heat on your program, but take it one day at a time. Don't lose the strides you are making because bulky clothes season is just around the corner. Focus on how far you've come and remember that Rome wasn't built in a day.