Sunday, October 27, 2013

Divide and Conquer

I went back and looked at some of the tips we post on Facebook and Twitter and I stopped on this one: "50 focused reps are 10 times better than 150 kicks without thinking about what you're trying to improve."

Let's take a look at this.

Throwing *BEEP* at a fan and seeing where it lands...what does this accomplish? OR is calculating the precise steps needed to achieve a specific goal the smarter path? There's a difference between doing something and doing it completely. Achievement doesn't come by how much activity is done, but by task completed.

If you're shanking the ball consistently, something obviously needs to be corrected in your swing. So, do you just go out and kick 100 balls and hope that it magically corrects itself so you can say, "I practiced"? Or do you break it down and take fewer but much more strategic swings?
Do you go into the gym and just lift a lot of weights randomly and think it will definitely change and reshape your body the way you want it to? No. Because it won't.

Ask any expert and they'll tell you, to increase your productivity, focus on one thing at a time. That being said, a certain discipline is required to say yes only to the most important thing at the moment.
And I know you can sit on your PS3 or XBOX for hours practicing your kicks on FIFA, so you've got no excuse.

You're called specialists for a reason. Because you specialize in something.

So, before you head out to practice, be prepared.

1. Select your one point of focus, the task you want to accomplish.
2. Put all your attention to that one task.
3. Stay with this task uninterrupted, until it is finished.

Dividing your tasks into milestones helps tremendously. It keeps everything from getting muddy. Clears out the clutter. And honestly, this can go way beyond football. Applying this same philosophy to your life can also be a cool thing. Am I right? Uh, does a one-legged duck swim in a circle?

So yeah, milestones. Set those milestones for yourself. That shank that keeps happening. Apply the tools to fix it. And let that be it. Now let's focus on the height. Distance not looking good? Make those swings all about that. Just always focus on something, whether it's the little things or just on being better. You can ALWAYS get better. You're never "done" with practicing. You will never be perfect. Not as a human, and not as a ball player. But the smart move is having a game plan, each and every time. A team isn't going to run out onto the field without a strategy and game plan...and it doesn't make any sense to practice without one.

Upon sitting down to write this, I did some research and I read a ton of quotes...all very philosophical. But then I thought I'd just keep it real with my own super professional and philosophical quote, which answers our initial question...

Throwing *BEEP* at a fan and seeing where it lands... just leaves you with a bigger mess. And the need for a nose plug.

Train With The Best...To Be The Best.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Journeys, Consistency, and a Cup of Coffee

Consistency. People are generally more comfortable knowing what they're gonna get. Makes sense. I mean, look at how Starbucks has done with this theory. People like knowing they can walk into a Starbucks in Oregon and get the same Pumpkin Spice Latte they're gonna get in Orlando, Florida. Consistency brings comfort.

This is also true in football...particularly in a specialist's world. Coaches, players, and fans are that much more comfortable when a specialist heads onto the field and they know they're good for the 40 yard field goal. They're good knowing their 3 point lead with 45 seconds left is safe because their punter is gonna deliver horrendous field positioning to their opponent. And they're good knowing their snapper is going to contribute in making the previous two possible.

Consistency is key. Consistency is also "clutch". And EVERYONE wants those "clutch" guys on THEIR side. Because when push comes to shove, and the game is on the line, you sure don't wanna see those "clutch" guys march onto the field in the wrong uniform.

There's no easy path on the "journey of clutch". That's what we'll call it. The "journey of clutch". It's hard work on top of more hard work. It's practice in 400 degree heat. It's running and swinging til your legs feel like they're gonna fall off. It's drills til it gets dark. It's working on your mental game as much as the physical one. It's being consistent in the training, so that THAT consistency is as much a part of you, as the number on your back when you take the field. And it doesn't happen over night. Oh and here's the thing, the "journey of clutch" never ends. Go ask a hobbit the average time allotment for a sensible journey. They take a while. You never get to rest. The grind doesn't end. Ask the guys playing on the college and pro levels. But you love it, so it's worth it. And anything worth having, takes work getting.

Yeah, the "journey of clutch" is a long one. Those hobbits got nothin' on a specialist. Bilbo Baggins? Wimp. So, pack snacks. Maybe you could even stop at Starbucks, they've got some great ones. Hipsters aren't the only ones who can appreciate a good latte and a croissant, you know.

And YOU thought you had nothing in common with hobbits and Starbucks.

Train With The Best...To Be The Best.