Don’t bother going through the motions. It’s a BIG waste of time. Showing up to train then allowing your mind to wander cheats you, and your team. It’s a sad truth that too many athletes in our fast-paced culture are short changing themselves. And it’s important that I share a better strategy to training that’s going to make a difference.

How often do you experience training amnesia? We’re all guilty of it to some degree. It’s when you’re clocking in the hours but you’re mind is elsewhere. Maybe you’re contemplating your dinner options, the heated discussion with your spouse, or weekend plans. When practice is over, you don’t clearly remember what you did. Sure you followed the workout, but your mind was checked out.

Performance doesn’t advance when you’re present in body, but not in spirit.  Improvement requires a concentrated effort. It deserves your complete focus. How you practice is just as important as how much you practice. It’s time you know what your options are so you can make an informed decision.

Train Your Brain to Win

Deliberate, focused attention is the very thing that’s going to advance your performance. The qualities of deliberate practice include presence, challenge and repetition. Deliberate practice is designed to improve performance, each and every time you practice. Most athletes, however, fail to follow this method. It’s usually due to one important reason: lack of motivation.

Lindsey Vonn, U.S. Women’s Downhill Skier, is wired to win. She’s an excellent example of deliberate practice. Everything she does revolves around a single motivating principle, to be the best downhill skier.

Several weeks ago at Lake Louise during the Alpine World Cup Women’s Downhill event it looked like Vonn was about to lose due to a costly mistake of going too wide on a turn. You could see that she lost her balance. Somehow she managed to regain her composure and then blew the competition away by over half a second. Making this her 11th career downhill win.

Her comeback from that mistake was not a fluke. All of her experience had trained her to respond to this very moment. Not only did she regain momentum, but she picked up speed, continuing to improve her time, during the run.

Here’s Lindsey Vonn’s strategy to win the event:

  • Mistake. Lindsey made a big mistake by going too wide, causing her to lose precious seconds. She maintained focus and then began to accelerate her speed.
  • Moxie. She possessed the courage, determination and the “know-how” to recover.
  • Mission. She’s a master at downhill skiing. She loves speed. Her resourcefulness, and her desire to win, put her abilities to the test.

Lindsey believes racing to win demands a quick response. And if she has a perfect race then she’s “going too slow.”

Lindsey’s approach to practice is the reason she’s a world class skier. The word impossible does not exist in her vocabulary. Even when she doesn’t win, she’s always seeking insights and then strategizing her practice sessions for continued improvement.

Your Winning Strategy

It’s all about how you show up. Maintaining a casual approach to your training is the biggest mistake you may be making. Get rid of the cruise control. That’s why improvement might appear elusive. Decide to turn that around. It’s no longer an excuse.

Are you ready to do what it takes? I can give you the information, and I can show you the way. Your level of motivation, however, is the most important factor.

The desire to excel keeps you engaged. Quality training, along with reflection, improves your performance. Approach your training with the mindset to persist and be present. Consistent effort, along with purposeful execution, over the long run will contribute to your BIG gains. The research backs this up. Putting in everything you’ve got creates a positive compounding effect.

Challenge: Set up a 21 day deliberate practice challenge. Identify one or two key areas that need improvement. Create a training program that challenges your current skill level in those areas over the 21 day challenge. And in your log after each workout evaluate what worked and any corrections you need to make. Rate your level of presence from 0 to 10, with 0 being totally on automatic, and 10 in the zone, during the workout.

Remember to rate your performance in those areas before you begin the challenge and once you’ve completed it to see if there’s been any change.

Hit the FB likes and comment on what you do to maintain focus under pressure.

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