The secret that top performers know
To be the best at a sport at any level is an exhilarating thing to experience, from winning the local netball championships right through to being a world champion team like the All Blacks, to be at the top of your competition creates memories that last forever. The majority of people will never experience this, the only way they will experience the feeling of being the best is through supporting teams or individuals that can provide this for them. Being the best takes a huge amount of work, commitment, passion, blood, sweat and tears, it is a pretty special thing and if it was easy everyone would do it!
Ask anyone who has ever won any series of competition what the key was to their success and you’ll probably hear words like ‘hard work’, ‘honest appraisal’ and ‘discipline’, these people have sacrificed a lot to be victorious and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Occasionally in every sporting competition there’s an individual or team that seems to transcend the level that their competition presents to them, these are the athletes who don’t just win a competition once, they have an unwavering ability to win over and over again. Serena Williams, Floyd Mayweather, and the All Blacks represent what I’m talking about here. Individuals and teams like these can do something that very few people in the world can ever do, win consistently over long periods of time. Winning is hard, especially on the world scale, but these amazing athletes seem to deliver results over and over again.
If we look at the ‘best of the best’ are we able to learn some lessons from these athletes which we can take away and apply to the way we approach our own fitness success? Obviously there are many areas we could look at here but the one I want to focus on is consistency of training.
The world’s top level athletes work with a team of high level thinkers in their sport to develop detailed plans for growth, they then work day after day to improve their ability. They consistently turn up and do the work, they don’t work hard one day and bugger around for the next 3 days. They do this because this is what it takes to be the best, if you want results you have to be consistent with your training.
To reinforce this, I want to give you a real example of where consistency of training has been proven with one of our local runners - Libby. Libby is the soul of the party who definitely enjoys the social side of our running group but at the same time she’s a hard bugger who’s always trying to improve. Libby had been a runner when she was younger but in recent times had been more of a gym-goer, she was keen to get back into running so she joined our running group a couple of years ago. At first Libby set her sights on completing a Half Marathon with the other goal of losing some weight in a healthy way during the training for this race. In her first Half Marathon she crossed the finish line in a time 2hr 28min, being an experienced runner and coach I knew Libby had killed herself to get that time so when she started to aim for faster times it would be about focussing on where she could gain minutes through her technique and training routine.
It’s been over two years since Libby joined the running group and in that time she has taken her Half Marathon PB down to 2hrs 8mins and has managed to lose 18kg, a goal weight that she had when she started and as managed to keep off for nearly a year. How has Libby been successful in getting such great results? One of the key factors is that she has been consistent. She’s turned up session after session and stayed focused on the work that had to be done. There was no quick fix, no easy solution that got her to this place, she’s committed to being consistent and has been able to experience the rewards of her work because of this.
Libby has set two big targets for the next period of time, to do her first Marathon and to try to get under two hours for a Half Marathon. I totally believe that she can get there because she has continued to grow from the consistency she has committed to her sport.
If you want to improve in any area of your life take the lesson that all champions and local legends, like Libby, know: Commit to consistently doing the work and improving and you will be on the right path.
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