Tag Archives: performance improvement

It’s Consistent Effort That Counts

29 Jan

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Unknown

Effort is important.  If you want to improve your performance, in any area of your life, you’ve got to work at it.  Whether your goal is to be a better basketball player or math student, practice is an integral part of the process.

But effort alone is not enough, especially if the effort is only occasional (anyone can do that).  Practicing once or twice, or once in a while, won’t get you very far.  Skill-building and mastery require consistency and quality of effort.

Additionally, you can’t count on team practices or math class to be enough to make you better.  Individual work, outside of and in addition to those areas, will make a big difference in your performance.

Top performers know that success requires daily (or, almost daily) practice, including the following components:

  • Attention to detail — technical correctness; diligence for each step of the process.
  • Purposeful repetition — don’t just go though the motions; follow your plan.
  • Goal-oriented — your practice should reflect your desired result.
  • Quality — give your best effort — aim for excellence — each and every time you practice.
  • Learn — watch and listen to others with experience and expertise.

When it comes to practice, you can’t wail until you have time… it’s up to you to make time.  Don’t forego practice just because you can’t dedicate a large chunk of time, on any given day.  Some practice — as long as it’s high-quality and purposeful — is better than none at all, even if only for 5-10 minutes.  The cumulative benefit of even small “doses” of practice will be significant, over time.

Get STRONGER, Get STRONGER!

Your thoughts?

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Does Titanium Jewelry Really Work?

15 Jul

free-shipping-RAKUWA-phiten-necklace-titaniun-necklace-phiten-X50-100pcs-lot[2]If you watch professional sports (MLB, NFL) you have seen players wearing titanium bracelets and necklaces.  Many athletes believe that these accessories can enhance their physical and mental abilities.  The companies that manufacture and sell these products assert that they work by “stabilizing the electric flow that nerves use to communicate actions to the body,” while many sports stars believe the necklaces give them luck.  These companies also claim that titanium jewelry can improve strength, endurance, energy, and — ultimately — performance.

Despite these claims, there is no scientific evidence supporting this theory.  Research has found no correlation between titanium jewelry and performance.  Experts agree that the body’s chemical structure cannot be influenced by magnets that small.  It’s all superstition with no scientific basis.

But while the physiology behind the necklaces doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny, that doesn’t mean they are devoid of any benefit.  Athletes are a superstitious bunch.  If the players think they are getting an advantage from the necklace and that gives them increased confidence, then they do in fact get a positive boost from the product — a “placebo” effect.

Wearing titanium jewelry may not turn you into Bryce Harper, but if you’re playing well — and winning — keep wearing it.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Do Your “Homework”

30 Dec

Want to improve your athletic performance?  Then you’d better do some “homework.”

Here’s my school/sports analogy:  The tests you take in school are like your games.  They determine your standing.  They represent the culmination of your preparation.

Your team’s daily practices are like the classes you attend every day.  They are usually content-specific, designed to prepare you for your next test or game.

But here’s where the comparison breaks down for many athletes:  As a student, what would happen if you never (or rarely) did any work outside the classroom?  What if your preparation ended when the school day was over, and you didn’t reinforce the day’s learning with any additional preparation and/or practice?  I would venture to guess you wouldn’t fare very well, academically.  Well, the same concept applies to sports.  It’s the homework — the additional time you commit to self-improvement — that makes the difference.

As a basketball player, for example, how much ball-handling and shooting practice do you get in games and team practices?  It’s unlikely you’re getting the kind of concentrated skills practice and repetition needed to improve your performance.  Team practices typically aren’t (nor should they be) designed to accommodate each individual player’s need for skills practice.

The point is, you have to commit yourself to doing some purposeful, “homework” as an athlete — including skills practice (regardless of your sport) and strength and conditioning.  Take initiative and ownership of your development by putting in some extra effort, outside of your team’s practices, in order to reach your performance goals.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

It’s Consistent Effort That Counts

22 Sep

basketball-skills-main-pic[1]Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Unknown

Effort is important.  If you want to improve your performance, in any area of your life, you’ve got to work at it.  Whether your goal is to be a better basketball player or math student, practice is an integral part of the process.

But effort alone is not enough, especially if the effort is only occasional (anyone can do that).  Practicing once or twice, or once in a while, won’t get you very far.  Skill-building and mastery require consistency and quality of effort.

Additionally, you can’t count on team practices or math class to be enough to make you better.  Individual work, outside of and in addition to those areas, will make a big difference in your performance.

Top performers know that success requires daily (or, almost daily) practice, including the following components:

  • Attention to detail — technical correctness; diligence for each step of the process.
  • Purposeful repetition — don’t just go though the motions; follow your plan.
  • Goal-oriented — your practice should reflect your desired result.
  • Quality — give your best effort — aim for excellence — each and every time you practice.
  • Learn — watch and listen to others with experience and expertise.

When it comes to practice, you can’t wail until you have time… it’s up to you to make time.  Don’t forego practice just because you can’t dedicate a large chunk of time, on any given day.  Some practice — as long as it’s high-quality and purposeful — is better than none at all, even if only for 5-10 minutes.  The cumulative benefit of even small “doses” of practice will be significant, over time.

Get STRONGER, Get STRONGER!

Your thoughts?

Does Titanium Jewelry Really Work?

29 May

free-shipping-RAKUWA-phiten-necklace-titaniun-necklace-phiten-X50-100pcs-lot[2]If you watch professional sports (MLB, NFL) you have seen players wearing titanium bracelets and necklaces.  Many athletes believe that these accessories can enhance their physical and mental abilities.  The companies that manufacture and sell these products assert that they work by “stabilizing the electric flow that nerves use to communicate actions to the body,” while many sports stars believe the necklaces give them luck.  These companies also claim that titanium jewelry can improve strength, endurance, energy, and — ultimately — performance.

Despite these claims, there is no scientific evidence supporting this theory.  Research has found no correlation between titanium jewelry and performance.  Experts agree that the body’s chemical structure cannot be influenced by magnets that small.  It’s all superstition with no scientific basis.

But while the physiology behind the necklaces doesn’t hold up to scientific scrutiny, that doesn’t mean they are devoid of any benefit.  Athletes are a superstitious bunch.  If the players think they are getting an advantage from the necklace and that gives them increased confidence, then they do in fact get a positive boost from the product — a “placebo” effect.

Wearing titanium jewelry may not turn you into Justin Verlander, but if you’re playing well — and winning — keep wearing it.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Do Your “Homework”

28 Jan

xinsrc_3421004311323906610236[1]Want to improve your athletic performance?  Then you’d better do some “homework.”

Here’s my school/sports analogy:  The tests you take in school are like your games.  They determine your standing.  They represent the culmination of your preparation.

Your team’s daily practices are like the classes you attend every day.  They are usually content-specific, designed to prepare you for your next test or game.

But here’s where the comparison breaks down for many athletes:  As a student, what would happen if you never (or rarely) did any work outside the classroom?  What if your preparation ended when the school day was over, and you didn’t reinforce the day’s learning with any additional preparation and/or practice?  I would venture to guess you wouldn’t fare very well, academically.  Well, the same concept applies to sports.  It’s the homework — the additional time you commit to self-improvement — that makes the difference.

As a basketball player, for example, how much ball-handling and shooting practice do you get in games and team practices?  It’s unlikely you’re getting the kind of concentrated skills practice and repetition needed to improve your performance.  Team practices typically aren’t (nor should they be) designed to accommodate each individual player’s need for skills practice.

The point is, you have to commit yourself to doing some purposeful, “homework” as an athlete — including skills practice (regardless of your sport) and strength and conditioning.  Take initiative and ownership of your development by putting in some extra effort, outside of your team’s practices, in order to reach your performance goals.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Don’t Lower My Expectations… Raise Your Game!

22 Oct

Recently, I read a Facebook post from an old friend, Tom Bielawski.  That post is captured in the title of this blog post.  Tom further clarified, explaining that he was “just in that kinda mood today – keep up the pace or step aside.”  Tom’s comments got me thinking about Don Shula’s quote, “Strive for perfection.  Settle for excellence.”

What are you doing to raise your game?  Are you satisfied with your current level of performance or are you working to improve?  Do you truly want to be the best you can be and, if so, what are you doing (and willing to do) to accomplish that?  Here are some tips to help you improve your performance:

Establish a Baseline

It’s important to understand your starting point.  With regard to the skill(s) you want to improve, where are you today?  You’ve got to be able to objectively assess your current level of performance if you want to create a plan to improve it.

Remember, It’s You vs. You

You’ve got to work within the context of your abilities and potential.  Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself with others (trust me, there are lots of other people who will do that for you).  Your goal should be to make “today you” better than “yesterday you;” and “tomorrow you” better than “today you.”

What’s Your Goal?

Goal setting is important.  Write down your goals, and revisit them often.  What does success look like?  For that matter, what does improvement look like?

Have a Plan

You’ll need to develop a map to help you get from point A (today’s reality) to point B (tomorrow’s goal).  One of the strategies I like, that relates to both the goal setting and performance planning processes, is SMART.  Both your goal and your plan should have SMART objectives built-in.

  • Specific – avoid being general or vague.
  • Measurable – your action steps and goal(s) should be quantifiable.
  • Actionable – your plan and goal should involve doing.
  • Realistic – challenge yourself, while considering your abilities and potential.
  • Timebound – set time parameters and deadlines.

Checks and Balances

It can be helpful to build “checkpoints” into your plan.  You’ll want to re-evaluate from time to time, to ensure that your action steps are consistent with your goal(s).  I like the “chunk it down” strategy.  Some goals, even though realistic, can seem immediately overwhelming.  Breaking down your goals into manageable steps can be more motivating and help you stick to your plan.

Get Help

It can be helpful to enlist the help of an expert, at least to get you started.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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