I attended a conference on tuesday that was supported by the BPS and had various speakers from sport and exercise psychology. My personal interested in this conference was that Chris Shambrook from Planet K2 was there to deliver a two sessions. The first session made me think. Does it make the boat go faster? This was a thought that was presented. It came from GB rowing and their culture that if it wasn't going to make the boat go faster they were almost not interested in it.
This quote got me thinking as it was something I heard from the head coach of the british disabled ski team when I was working with them in the summer. He suggested that they rarely trained specific drills for the sake of training the drills. If it wasn't going to be used in competition they didn't train on it. This poses an interesting thought. Is there a point in doing things that aren't going to help you perform fully to the best of your ability when you need to. This thought stayed with me the rest of the week that I was working with them and helped me deliver on impact throughout the week tailoring my work to skills and interventions that they could use to make them better at training or in competition to make them go faster. It was more 'will it make the skis go faster' if the answer was yes then we trained it. If not it was pushed aside maximising our time for those things that are going to make the most impact.
This brings me nicely onto my next take home message from the conference. Deliver on impact not on time. This goes as well for coaches as it does for sport psychologists. If we spent all of our time focussing on those things that are going to have an impact then we would all be better at what we do. If we improved every little bit of performance just that little bit more the our performance would increase. If we were just a little bit better at everything in our job today than we were yesterday performance would go through the roof. So maximum impact minmium contact.
I ask all of you to ask yourselves, will it make the boat go faster? or am I doing this to make me look good at the expense of being a better person, team, athletes, coach, businessman, manager.