Is it possible to put together a team effort that’s so deficient in talent, attitude, energy and motivation that even the thought of winning a team relay competition is more of an exercise in futility than a game plan? Of course it is. And if your mum told you that there is always one rotten apple in a barrel, you may have grown up feeling skeptical and jaded.
But, to lose a team relay race, you need more than just one rotten apple—though it doesn’t hurt to recruit one if you insist on sabotaging an upcoming competition. In fact, we’ve come up with a tongue-in-cheek list of ways you can lose a relay race pretty easily.
If your team decides to employ all of them, you had better make your own finisher medals and race t-shirts because you and your mates won’t be handed either—even if you hit the finish line. Your chances of being disqualified? Excellent!
18 tested, refined and guaranteed ways to lose your next team relay race!
- Recruit runners who are known to their families as “klutzes” because they drop everything with which they come into contact. Look for teammates who are not permitted to pass heirloom china at the dinner table.
- Fail to pick a baton exchange method; rather let relay team members guess whether the crew will employ the upsweep, downsweep or push pass method.
- Find crabby, put-upon people whose collective senses of entitlement make them perfectly disagreeable to any and all team efforts. Cater to these losers by following in their footsteps.
- Encourage each team member to stop running immediately after he releases the baton because, at that point, it’s no longer his responsibility to keep going.
- Say yes to slow runners auditioning for a slot when you fill a relay team void in the hopes she will improve, if given enough time.
- Get into rows, skirmishes or word wars with team members and allow feelings to simmer for weeks without addressing the topic that creates the tension.
- Don’t step in when mates exhibit signs of anger toward each other—especially if they’re engaging in yelling, undercutting, humiliating and making unfounded accusations.
- Forget about team cooperation, goal setting and finding common values. Remind team members that if they screw up, you’re never going to let them forget it.
- Make up your own team rules, despite those conceived by the relay race organizer. For example, if the rules say a participant must stay on the correct side of his lane, don’t bother if a win can be had by crossing lines!
- Don’t bother with speed drills when your team practices together. Assume everyone will work on this on her own so practicing together isn’t really necessary.
- When you decide on race order, ignore each team members strengths and instead, make it a popularity contest, allowing every mate to call the shots by picking a favourite running position.
- On days you get together to train, don’t bother practicing the whole race, assuming that distance really isn’t necessary to your training when the big day comes.
- Fail to show up at team practices because “you don’t feel like it” or because you’ve got better things to do—like trim your toenails, see a film or sleep in.
- Refuse to let mates train with a baton in hopes that their speed will improve if they’re not bothered by having to pass that pesky stick.
- Resort to name calling when a member of the team has a bad practice. Challenge his motivation; taunt her with slurs and assume that by putting her down that she’ll be more stoked to run a good race.
- Ignore opposing team members when they try to shake your hand before or after a race to wish you well and promote commaradarie. Instead, ignore them, turn your back or utter a few expletives loud enough to insult them.
- Insist on so many training sessions to prepare for a meet that your teammates never see their kids and wind up using up vacation and sick days at work.
- Deter members from getting a full night’s sleep on the night before the race by telling them it isn’t really necessary. Instead, go out drinking and partying in anticipation of a win on the following day!
Do you have a relay team story you would like to share with our readers? The more extreme, the better in our opinion, because even funny tips help runners realise the potential for sabotaging their races!
Think your team can perform well at the upcoming prestigious ASICS Relay Singapore? Then sign up now at Spacebib.