2/8/17

100 Ways To Be 1% Better

It is so easy to forget about the little things. The daily minutia. When we are asked about how our day went, we rarely bring up the small details because they just happen. Until they don't. And then one day you're looking at yourself asking, "how did I miss that?"

Life presents itself with many large challenges that need our immediate attention. In the sports world this could be an injury, a lack of team strategy, or even a lack of skills practice. This demands rapid action. Go to the trainers, have the coach build up team work, have more practices - these are basic solutions to big problems. But what happens when we're already doing these big things and we still fail? What takes an athlete, or a team, to beyond their current situation.

The little things.



In the 2012 Olympics, the British cycling team applied a principle called "Marginal Gains" that helped them bring home 7 out of 10 gold medals. They did just a few extra things that most cyclists overlooked. Customized aerodynamic helmets, warm up pants for between races, sweat resistant clothing, hypoallergenic pillows to sleep on to reduce breathing strain at night, etc. It seems like nothing, but these elite athletes were already doing so many things to be better, and yet, they found even more ways to improve.

Most high school and college athletes are not doing the little things to be better. In fact, based on my observations, most of them aren't doing anything but the big things. They go to practice, they work on skills, they see the trainers when something hurts, but that is it. Which is why we stress the 1% improvement mantra at our gym.

There are at least 100 things that anyone can do to make themselves just 1% better.

In a world where not everyone who wants to go the next level has the genetics to carry them, they must earn that right. Yet sadly, the minutia is not glamorous, if anything it is ditch digging. Ditch digging has to be one of the most miserable tasks known by man. It's dirty, it's hard work, and after everything is done you're simply left with a hole in the ground - Good job. That is how marginal gains feel, because you are in the dirt putting in work and no one is going to pat you on the back.

In sports ditch digging comes in many forms. For starters, the right attitude towards something can go a long way. Research is beginning to show that happy students and happy employees are more productive. A recent study at the University of Warwick found that happier employees led to a 12% improvement in productivity. Another study showed that up to 40% of a persons happiness is due to their intentional activities while only 10% is due to external environment. In other words, happiness is about our perspective and how we handle it. So, if an athlete walks into a practice or workout and is dreading what they are about to do, chances are that they are less likely to improve. Meanwhile, an athlete who shows up ready to work could benefit substantially. Imagine a 12% improvement in play by simply wanting to do everything set before them? Would you or your kid not want that? AND THAT'S ONLY ONE THING.

There are still 99 other ways to become at least 1% better. Getting enough food, getting the right food, stretching properly, getting good strength & conditioning work, trying hard for every rep or play, and the list goes on.

The little things do not produce the instant gratification that comes from scoring the winning point. However, marginal gains can lead to a 100% better athlete who in turn grantees their teams victory. It is the minutia that separates those who stall out and those who make it to the next level. The question is, can you do the little things?


No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.