How To Avoid Performance Plateaus
The greatest tragedy in sports performance is when a gifted athlete doesn’t reach the level of success he or she is capable of achieving. And don’t be lulled into complacency: this happens far more often than we want to admit.
Has it happened to you?
If this has or could happen to you, it’s important to take action now.
Why Same-Old, Same-Old Doesn’t Work
It can be tough for talented athletes to make changes and do things differently. You’re confident in your abilities. You’re used to “work harder + do it long enough = eventual success.” And it’s worked in the past. But it’s also often a path to diminishing returns.
The problem with concentrating on what’s worked in the past is that this is no guarantee of future performance success. To look forward, you first have to admit that you probably need to identify and learn how to address your greatest opportunities for improvement. Simply doing “more” of what worked before may not be enough ... you’ll likely need to trainer even smarter.
Other than a few phenomena, there is not a whole lot of difference among the physical abilities of athletes performing at national and international levels. Success comes down to how you train.
If you’ve never been in a training program through which athletes with similar talent have achieved the level of performance you desire, you probably don’t even know what you are missing.
Experiment, Fail, Succeed. Rinse and Repeat.
The assumption when an athlete stands out is that this person is just super talented. We often go with this assumption because it justifies our being average and makes us comfortable. Often, however, the assumption is wrong.
There may be training techniques and approaches that your competitors are utilizing that you don’t even know about.
A common trait among elite athletes is that they are willing to be different. They investigate new approaches, try, fail, and continue this process until they find what works well for them. That team standout? He or she most likely is doing something different from the rest of his or her teammates—and may not be sharing the secret sauce because it’s creating a competitive advantage.
Regardless of your current skill level, if you think and act like an elite athlete you will eventually improve your performance. With the line for many athletes between mediocrity and high performance is taking action and trying something different, why wouldn’t you want to be different?
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