‘I’d like to be a coach one day, I keep a little book of good and bad traits’: Katie Archibald column

'Maybe it’s better if your boss is a meany all of the time and at least you know to brace'

Do you have a boss that’s a meany? Would you use a different word to describe your boss that’s a meany? Are you thinking that word now? I bet it’s a good one. Well unfortunately I’m not allowed to print that word, so let’s try getting on board with ‘meany’.

It would be better if your boss was a meany only some of the time instead of all of the time, right? That’s obvious. If I had to get hit in the face I’d rather it was only some of the time and not all of the time.

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Unless, that is, ‘some of the time’ was completely unpredictable and inconsistent. If I knew I was going to be hit in the face every day I could prepare for it. I’d know to duck, or at least brace. Maybe I’d wear a mask, or always carry paracetamol, or if it really got too much I’d move.

But if every now and then, completely out of the blue, while I’m relaxed and enjoying my day, having totally forgotten that sometimes I get hit in the face, or maybe believing that last time really was the last time, thinking I’m not going to be hit in the face ever again… if I then got hit in the face. Well. It would really ruin my day. So maybe it’s better if your boss is a meany all of the time and at least you know to brace.

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I wouldn’t know, I don’t have a boss. I have a coach as a boss proxy but that’s Paul Manning, a man infamously level-headed 24/7. I’m thinking about it because I’d maybe like to be a coach one day and so I keep a little book of traits I do and don’t want to emulate. Not just traits I notice in coaches but in leaders generally; team managers, team-mates, directeur sportifs, even people in the family bed shop.

Of course I won’t be a meany at all, so the whole thing is moot. Sorry. But still tune in next week when we’ll discuss if jam or marmalade is better, before I tell you I don’t eat toast.

This Katie Archibald column originally appeared in the print edition of Cycling Weekly, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, priced £3.25.