November 5, 2022

What's your performance trajectory?

Back in 2012 I made a friendly bet with a fellow coach.

I bet that someone we both coached would make the international team in his chosen sport for the world championships in 2014.

At the time the athlete in question was one of the weakest, smallest, least naturally talented players in his position. There were many, many players who were bigger, stronger, fitter, less injury prone and just down right better at that time. Some people wondered why he was even trying out for the squad.

So why did I make that bet?

The behaviours I saw in this individual meant that while his current ability (in 2012) wasn’t anywhere near good enough to play at a world championship level - given the two year period ahead of us, I was convinced he would improve and far surpass the other individuals around him who weren’t showcasing those behaviours (despite being much better than him initially).

His trajectory was upwards and at a pace that could be maintained. Compounded over two years, magic could happen.

What did this individual do that made me back him so?

He asked questions.

He showed up.

He worked hard.

He tried to do a little more each time.

He thought about things, learned from his mistakes and kept making small changes.

He didn’t quit, stop or get distracted.

It was an absolute pleasure to watch him develop and see him pull on his national jersey in 2014 (he’s since gone on to become a team captain - which is absolutely no surprise)

Today I want you to ask yourself a question.

If I did X for two years, who would I become?

X can be whatever you want it to be. Practice chess for 10 minutes a day, go for a 45 minute walk, lift weights twice a week, commit to meditating every other day. It’s your choice.

It does not have to be big changes. Often a smaller change, committed over the long term, will ultimately lead to far superior results than someone who goes for a massive change but can’t commit to it or sustain it beyond four weeks.

Enjoy thinking about your future self, but don’t forget - it’s the daily actions which get us there.

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