“We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training” Archilochus
This quote and the subsequent discussion really hit something for me which I’d like to discuss today.
There seems to be something of a disconnect between what the best are doing and what those that would like to be the best are trying in order to emulate them. In a coaching session with some school kids last week I found myself reiterating the point that being the best isn’t about doing the fancy, sexy, training. Far from it. Instead it is about consistent, quality, practice of the basics. This message often goes down like the proverbial shit sandwich because people don’t want to hear it; people want the magic bullet, the secret move that will unlock success and unlock it now. The more time people spend looking for the end of the rainbow the more time they’ve wasted where they could have been patiently practicing the basics.
This purposeful practice of fundamental skills allows the high performer time, they see their competition in slow motion and that is their secret, they have the space to execute their skills. Through their practice they see the game in half speed and this is what makes them look like they are at double speed. They are literally a step ahead because they see things before you. Many who are trying to climb the ladder see this speed and try the shortcut, they caffeinate, watch the motivational videos and turn up all the dials to 11, raising their expectations. Unfortunately this tactic is doomed to fail. The person who has trained for it will prevail. The high performer recognises that the goal is seeing things slower, not faster.
So my message today is to throw out the pre workout and instead be present in your practice. Focus on the basic skills you require and invest your time and effort into these. Find a way to enjoy the practice and before long your developments will be engrained. Time now equals time on the field.
This message is relevant whether you are an aspiring athlete, a weekend warrior or trying to perform better at work or in your studies. Slow things down, take your time and focus on the basics. With these nailed you’ll have the freedom, and crucially - the time, to express yourself fully in your craft without the need for self-medication on the way.