P+H+P = High Performance

M.C. (Mental Coach) Cuccaro sent me the following video the other day. While it is not new science (and makes perhaps claims a dubious cause and effect relationship once or twice – i.e. good story, bad science), it certainly highlights some basic, critical principles of player development that are too often overlooked.

Periodization Training: Play Longer

Understanding these ideas takes one from being simply a skill coach (“swing coach” in golf) to being someone that develops players that compete consistently, continuously learn, and find high achievements over the course of long athletic careers. Full reviews of a purposeful approach to developing athletes can be found in a variety of locations (I’m partial to Balyi’s writings), but in the meantime, here’s a simple equation that puts it all in perspective:

P+H+P=High Performance

Patience – Many know that it takes 10yrs/10000hrs to achieve expert performance. Furthermore, if one considers the length of most athletic seasons, it is reasonable for one to have a few “peak performances” during a year and many good one’s. The athlete will always thirst for “great,” but “good” is pretty good nonetheless. The wise athlete is patient enough to accept “good” in order to peak when the games matter most.

Humility – Struggles, losses, and frustrations all happen during a season. If embraced with humility, the athlete learns and improves. Furthermore whenever an athlete tries to incorporate a technical or tactical change into the competitive environment, there is a risk that one will “look bad.” Few people enjoy feeling foolish, thus avoid it. Athletes that have the humility to stumble and struggle, make strides past their competitors each day.

Persistence – As one considers periodization, a competitive year can look like a roller coaster ride. Often athletes live for the competitions. Pre-competition phases can be monotonous and physically taxing. Rest phases, while critical can turn an athlete “restless.” Despite all of this, the athlete and coach that thirst for high achievement must be persistent enough to commit focus and effort appropriately to each stage of training and competing. Having a thirst to win is good, but the dogged persistence to commit to a good developmental plan leads to fulfilling one’s potential.

An appreciation of the concept of a periodized approach to practices and competitions reminds us: P+H+P=High Performance.

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