by Jeff Spencer October 11, 2017

BodyHealth - Do something non-sports related that brings you joy - Handsome man playing viola

The magic words for the sports performer is consistent and predicable performance. Most performers carry around a terminal low-grade ever-present anxiety about their next performance whether that’s in training or competition.

This festering preoccupation steals energy that reduces performance and eats into recovery.

Nothing small is insignificant as one small thing can disrupt an entire system from producing its best result.  

Small things include frictions or omissions.

A tiny muscle imbalance or missing nutrient compromise performance.

By far the fastest way to create better performance is to do something that isn’t sport specific. And, I say that because most committed performers have covered most of the major requirements to perform well so spending exponentially more time there to eek out micro-improvements not always the best use of time.

A top performer I work with is performing extraordinarily well at the moment.

To build on that by doing more specific to the discipline carries a big risk of doing 1% too much that takes the edge off their performance at the level which is the difference between winning and losing. 

I told them that to gain the 1% to win big in the world they play at can come from developing a side of them that builds their spirit, resiliency, and enthusiasm for life itself.

We looked at his life and things he had done in his past that he no longer does.

And, I might add he is very different from the typical athlete as, in addition to his intense training at the Olympic level, he likes photography, reading, and taking online college classes.

As our conversation continued he told me that he studied the violin for 10 years but hadn’t touched one for about a decade. I never knew that. And, when he told me that I instantly understood why he was different.

On the spot, I told him the best thing he could do for himself was to get out his violin and play it again as this would re-awaken a side of him that has been dormant for years. And, by doing so his life would be more enriched and he would have an overall higher life enthusiasm that would translate to a 1-2% boost in his athletic performance.  

He found his violin, dusted it off, and played for 45-minutes for the first time in a decade.

Despite how rusty he was a part of his life was reignited and as the result he has gained another 1-2% in sports performance that no amount of additional training would have gained him access to.

Becoming a better person makes a better athlete.

Never discount the value of that.

Jeff Spencer
Jeff Spencer


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