“You are either on the wave or off the wave, you can’t be kinda on it.” – Laird Hamilton, big wave surfer
Nobody gets to the top of their game without effort, but it’s not just effort on competition day that sorts the winners from the losers. In sport, far more time will be spent in training than in competition, and it’s making every effort in training a best effort that leads to becoming a champion.
Getting to the top in sport is a process governed by the principle that you get out of life what you put into life.
To succeed, you need to be prepared to succeed. Effective preparation in competitive sport is all about establishing successful habits. Research has shown that keeping a daily training diary is one of those habits. Keeping a diary allows goals to be set on a daily basis, and this sort of daily focus helps to keep everything on track – making every day count as a day of preparation for the big goal.
Setting daily goals is important if a drift into just going through the motions is to be avoided. Knowing exactly what action you need to take from day to day to leverage your efforts and make the biggest impact in terms of improving your performance is “intelligent effort”, and it’s a concept known as the Pareto principle, or 80-20 rule.
With intelligent effort, 20 per cent of your training efforts will yield an 80 per cent improvement in your performance.
In 1906, an Italian economist named Pareto noticed that 80 per cent of the land in Italy was owned by 20 per cent of the population. This observation was then developed by Joseph Juran, a business management thinker, who noticed that 20 per cent of the pea-pods in his garden produced 80 per cent of the peas. The 80-20 rule is now a common rule-of-thumb in business, with 80 per cent of a company’s sales acknowledged to come from 20 per cent of its clients, and when it’s applied to sport, 20 per cent of your efforts (when they are intelligent efforts) will generate an 80 per cent improvement in your performance.
To apply this principle to your training, you need to set at least one goal for each session, and each session should begin with a clear understanding of what it is you want to achieve. Keeping the focus on goals specific to individual sessions makes it easier to track progress, and small wins on a regular basis help to keep motivation high when the big goal is a long way off.
Winners in sport become winners because they commit to making every effort in every training session a best effort. Making your every effort count comes down to planning and preparation. When you know what the focus of every training session is, you can leverage your efforts to achieve that goal.
So, how committed to your success are you? Are you on the wave or are you off the wave?
Don MacNaughton is a High Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years. The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in April 2019. Click here for more information or to sign up.