When you complete a big event, you are always looking for ways to improve. So how do you evaluate your performance? What characteristics do you use? There are three things you can look at that will help you improve your performance, outcome, performance, and process.
Outcome results are based on the result of a game or performance. This is important because we keep track of who wins and loses so if it wasn’t important we wouldn’t keep score. But it can’t be the only thing that you base your results on.
The drawback of only looking at outcome results is that there is very little control over whether you win or lose. There are a lot of outside variables that also play into the final result. If you lose a baseball game 5-0, what does that tell you about needing to improve for next game? You need to score more runs and give up less runs. That’s it. You either won or lost..
So you need something else to evaluate your performance.
For those of you that don’t know, Pat Summitt coached at the University of Tennessee and she won 1,098 games. In part because she didn’t focus only on the result, but wanted to find out what went wrong, and make improvements for the next game.
What are the factors that lead to winning?
One way to evaluate yourself other than outcome, is to look at performance factors. These are the numbers that get collected on a stat sheet. Looking at your past performances, you can find ways to improve for next time. This gives you a little bit more control on enhancing your performance. So from that stat sheet, try to find things that you think will help you win, then work to improve upon them.
Do you need faster splits in your running time, maybe slower in the beginning, then try to increase your speed. That’s called a negative split. For a sport like basketball, many times turnovers and rebounds are always big for a coach to track. But could you also look at things your shooting percentage or assist to turnover ratio.
You want to find ways to measure your performance, then work on ways to improve that performance. The reason that this is a better strategy to use than simply outcome data, is that it allows you to make changes and improvements. It allows you to see where you struggle, then you can modify your performance to get better. Now you just need to find ways to measure your performance, track your progress, evaluate how you did, then make adjustments.
How do you perform an activity at your best? Being able to break down those movements can help you decipher how to execute your sport skill
A baseball pitcher gets in the set position,
Take a step back, bring arm overhead
As you step forward, reach back,
Get arm into optimal angle
Bring arm forward to its release point,
All of these things are essential to you performing a skill well. These are things that your coach will be telling you to make adjustments on.
Again, this is great because you can make changes for improvement!
One of my favorite sports is basketball and the jump shot is so simple, yet has a multitude of complexities.
You need to have your feet positioned correctly under your shoulders
Bring the ball up to the shooting position
At the same time you are starting your jumping motion
Once you hit the top of your jump, you begin to release the ball
Again having a proper release point at the top of your jump, you are releasing off your finger tips
Finally following through with the wrist, and landing on the ground.
When we describe the jump shot, it can sound choppy, when really it’s a fluid motion. All of this stuff is happening together, there is a flow to it. But breaking it down allows you a chance to make slight modifications. Say there is a day when you are not making shots, and we all have those, what do you do? Coach tells you to make adjustments. Now you have various parts of your jump shot that you can control and modify to get your ideal performance. When you are in practice you want to try to develop a feel for what that ideal performance is.
Now you are able to make slight adjustments to get your shot back. One of my favorite quotes related to this was from Kobe Bryant, in that he said if he missed 7 shots in a row, he was for sure going to shoot the 8th shot. He knew that one was going in. Perhaps because each time, he was getting information about adjustments to make. Athletes need to be able to make those fine tune adjustments in the game to allow him to get back on track.
In conclusion, there are three ways you can assess your performance that will help you reach peak performance. Outcome is looking at the final result. Performance is what’s on the stat sheet. Process describes what it looks like for you to perform your best.