Right Thing, Wrong Time and Place

In my lost post we talked about enduring a little more, I want to go a little deeper into that topic with this post.  One of the mantra’s I’ve adopted came from the inimitable Super Dave Harrington. It’s a fairly simple directive; “Do the right thing, at the right time, every time.”  This is solid advice for every area of our lives. If we were to apply this everyday all day most folks would be good to go.

 

However, what happens when we do everything right, and it still goes wrong? 

 

 

In those moments what happens next is more important than what happened. Simply do the next right thing, and keep doing the next thing right until we turn whatever happened, around.

 

How we bounce back, how quickly we adapt to things falling apart is the true test of our mettle. Anyone can be good to go when everything goes as planned. It takes an adaptive, mentally agile thinker to roll with the punches, and keep pressing toward the objective. We learn the lessons we can learn, we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and press on.

 

The fighting mindset shines in those moments. Seeing everything go wrong, despite doing everything right, and choosing to keep on keeping on is the hallmark of a fighter.

 

 

Endure a Little More

There is simply no substitute for time on the mat, range, or in the weight room. One of my coaches told me that cranking the oven up to 800 degrees doesn’t reduce the baking time, it just burns the cake. There’s a lot of truth in those words. I can’t count the times I tried to go too far too fast, and paid the price in the form of injuries, frustration, and sometimes lost training time.

 

While there certainly are more efficient ways to train we have to fight the urge to succumb to the get rich quick mentality. There is no easy way. There is no shortcut. There is only consistent effort over time.

 

Sometimes it’s consistent, painful, bone-crushing exhaustion level effort over a longer period of time than we think it should take.

 

As one approaches a level of mastery it becomes even more difficult to measure improvements. The first few years of strength training it’s normal to put 200 pounds on our squat or deadlift, after 10 years of training a 200 pound increase on the squat or deadlift would be miraculous. There are a few things we can do at this point. We can radically change our approach, maybe switch to a new coach, or a new training strategy. Sometimes that works for a brief time. However, sometimes the best strategy is to keep doing what got us here while trusting the process. Focusing on small improvements, even as small as a 1% over a 4-6 week training cycle, is an improvement. Put enough of those together, and we end up with a 10-15% increase over the course of a macro cycle.

 

Regardless of your stage in this game know this, there will come a time where you will simply have to choose to endure a little more. There is no way around it, you will want to quit, you will be frustrated. You will see friends, and training partners that started at the same time as you or even after you surpass you. Keep on keeping on. There really is nothing to it but to do it.

 

IMG_6230As my coach Chris Haueter says, “It’s not who’s good, it’s who’s left… it’s hours on the mat… and if you put in that time, natural athlete or not, you practice the art, you’ll be a black belt. You’ll be somewhere in ten years… imagine someplace ten years from now I’m gonna be somewhere why not be a black belt too? You just can’t quit.”

 

The Power of Three

When developing or refining skill the challenge is to focus our efforts. We tend to get caught up in trying to work on too many things at once. That is a fast track to frustration. This endeavor can be physically, and mentally taxing enough without additional obstacles of our own design.

 

Covering all the bases is a never-ending challenge. However, it’s not impossible. The trick is to keep the focus to three or less performance points each practice session.  Whether it is strength training, conditioning work, boxing, or vehicle operations we can’t focus on everything every time. There is no mythical power of three however, there is a power in focused effort. Before each practice session take a few moments to write down 1-3 performance points or cues that you will focus on during the practice session. Other things might come up however, stay the course. Remember the focus of this practice session, and don’t waver. If you don’t know each performance point for the various disciplines don’t worry, we’ll cover that ground in future blog, and YouTube posts. For now, here is an example of 3 performance points to focus on in our next pistol practice session.

 

Strength vs Technique

It seems there is a never ending discussion regarding which is more important; strength or technique. We seem to enjoy debating the merits of one over the other.

If you’re really strong you can overcome any lack of technique on your part.

If you have great technique you’ll be able to shut down the stronger opponent.

We go round and round, each side presenting a compelling argument.

My thoughts? There is no argument. It’s not either/or.

What if we work as intensely, and intelligently as possible to become as strong as inhumanly possible while simultaneously striving just as intensely, and intelligently to develop flawless technique?

This has a synergistic effect producing a high performance multidisciplinary badass.

Don’t allow others to impose limitations on you. It’s not strength or technique, it’s strength and technique.