This happens often. Don’t know if it happens in other professions like it does in health, fitness and performance? I get bombarded all the time with folks asking if they should being doing “A” or do “B” instead?
I’ll give you an example:
“Coach — should I be doing cardio training OR strength training”.
“Coach Rozy, I was looking at my schedule and don’t know if I should do your performance training during the summer or spend more time doing basketball, soccer, baseball — [you can fill in the blank].”
My answer to these questions? YES, you should. Which normally gets me a look like the one that just came across your face!
Understand, I’m not trying to be funny. I truly believe It doesn’t have to be one OR the other. The answer might be it can be both. Yes, you can do “A” AND “B”. Now trust me, I’m also aware of the dilemma of trying to do so many things that we don’t do anything to a high standard. I get it. Finding a happy medium and balance is key. See, right there is that AND!
The key is to find the elements that are vital to the success of what you are looking to get better at — and work those elements to improve what you’re doing. Again, let me give you an example I use often with our athletes.
If you were a race car driver, tell me which is most important; A) the engine in the car, B) the tires on the car or C) the steering wheel in the car? A, B OR C? I hope you said the correct answer was A, B AND C! You see, you can have the greatest engine ever made in the car, but without good tires and a steering wheel to direct it around the track, you might as well be driving my old Rambler I had when I was in high school, because the outcome would be the same. You had the potential for greatness, but without all the factors working together at a high level, we don’t get the outcome we are looking for.
It’s the same when we look to improve our performance when we are training for an activity. There are certain skill sets that will help us excel at the activity. Using baseball as an example. We need to be able to hit, catch and throw. To be good at those skills we need to train those skill sets over and over again. We also know that if we have better strength, power, balance, coordination, speed, agility, flexibility and mobility (just to name a few factors that help make a baseball player a better ball player) we have a person that has a better chance to succeed at playing the game of baseball. So the question comes up again - should we play more baseball OR should we spend more time training those components that help to improve us as a baseball player. Again, to me the answer is AND! Do baseball skills AND do training to improve the machine (body) that has to do those skills.
This isn’t even looking at another “AND”, which is the mental part of success; understanding strategies of the game, being mentally ready and focused for competition, but that’s another topic for another article!
The key to balance AND success is to really do a breakdown of what is most important to improve your performance and take you to another level. I’ll give you another illustration. You only have 60 minutes to get in your training program. You play basketball and really need to work on improving your power (so you can jump higher for your shooting and rebounding) and your coach says you need to work on your shooting form. Spending all day playing basketball games with your friends might not be the best use of your time. Yes you’ll have a chance to jump and rebound, and yes, you’ll have the opportunity to work on your shot. The key to the 10,000 rule, which says to become a master, you need to do that skill 10,000 times, misses a key element when folks talk about it. It’s doing the skill each time up to 10,000 — but working to get better on each rep. Not just going through the motion but improving each time you do the activity you’re working on. In this example you need to take time and do the skills that make you more powerful (lifting, doing jump drills). You also need to spend time on the movements and skills that help shoot better (hand position, foot work, form, etc). Breaking down the elements of what it takes to become better, AND doing those things that help you get the best results. In this case, maybe doing your individual work for 30 minutes AND playing a pick up game for 30 minutes. I think you get my point.
So today, find what will help you become the best you, AND do those things! OR don’t — and see what is the outcome!
Mark “Coach Rozy” Roozen, M.Ed, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT, TSAC-F, FNSCA is the Founder/Director of Coach Rozy Performance - Powered by AVERA Sports. He can be reached at 817-219-2811, email him at email@example.com or go to www.coachrozy.com for more information on this article or programs that he offers.