Women's Triathlon Team Sponsored by Coeur Sports

At first glance, many people would say that Triathlon falls into the category of an individual sport. After all, on race day you’re out there on your own. You can’t “tag up” and have the backup swimmer, biker, or runner come in and take your place so you can catch your breath and, by and large, you don’t have a coach calling in your plays from the booth. Additionally, if you do have a magical day where you make it on the podium, you’ll find that the box is designed for one person, not a team.

Even so, we are of the belief that very few (if any) people really get to the top of the sport on their own. After all, a “Team” is defined as a group of people with a common goal. The individuals do not have to be on the course with you to be supporting your goal.

Speaking of goals, ours is to create an environment where everyone wearing Coeur feels like they are part of a community. It may be far reaching for a fairly new company to aspire to this, but we hope that if you see someone on the course in a Coeur kit, you can expect that they’ll be racing hard but fair, that they’ll offer an encouraging word (or a small smile if they are too deep in the pain box to speak), and that ultimately, you’re on the same “Team”.

Three members of Coeur Team

At Coeur, we're trying to make "Team" and "Family" Synonymous

So, today, we’re celebrating teams. To do that, we asked Coeur Athlete and ITU Star Katie Zaferes to provide a perspective. For those of you who don’t know, Katie is one of the top ranked ITU athletes in the world and she’s working to be on one of the most exclusive teams in the world. Namely the U.S. Olympic Team. Here are her thoughts” on Team.

Thoughts on Team by Katie Zaferes

“Team. It's a concept that when I was younger I thought was limited to "team sports" like soccer, lacrosse, softball and basketball. When I switched over to primarily swimming, running and then subsequently triathlon I had originally thought I would be doing individual sports. Little did I know I was about to find out that "individual sports" could be more team oriented than I ever thought possible.

Over the past three years of transitioning into triathlon I've had the opportunity to identify with many teams; some that overlap with one another and others that don't have any connection. On some of the teams I train with my teammates on a daily basis. On other teams I have yet to meet all my fellow teammates. Some of my teammates and I are fighting for the same three Olympic spots, while others I will never see in the ITU circuit but will religiously follow on Twitter as they each reach their goals.

This year I have been so fortunate to have really found my niche with each one of these teams. In looking at my success so far this season I can assure you that if triathlon were an individual sport I would not have made it on to the podium in each race. I read once that "the difference between success and failure is a great team" and I have many great teams behind me. Having the support of so many people drives me, and it's not in an "I need to win for them" way. Rather it's knowing that win or lose I will always be backed by teammates that celebrate the great results and give words of encouragement after races that don't go as planned. It's having a network of athletes that get me out the door when I'd really rather take a nap or eat a cookie. It's knowing that someone else is suffering with me through a tough workout and in doing so we both are getting stronger. It's arriving at a race with nerves and feeling automatically calmed when I see the faces of friends and I am reminded to enjoy every moment. It's listening to the stories of others and learning, laughing or identifying with each teammates' experiences, and then getting to share my own with others.

From the moment I became a Coeur girl I felt like I didn't just have a new team to be a part of, but a new family. There are many fellow Coeur girls that I have yet to meet personally. Although I feel that when we do meet there won't be an awkward "hello" and handshake but rather a huge smile and most likely a hug (I feel like most of the Coeur crew are huggers). Whenever I see someone in a Coeur kit training or racing I get so excited and automatically feel like we have a connection. These may seem like small things that wouldn't impact performance; but when you're comfortable, happy and have the greatest support network in the world it makes a huge difference. It's the most winning situation when you're surrounded by people who inspire you, support you and make you want to be the best that you can be. Thank you to all my teams, for letting me be a part of something great and knowing that I not only have the support now, but also new connections and lasting friendships.”

Reginald Holden