013: Three ways to achieve peak performance: Outcome, Performance, and Process.

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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

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.

Losing sucks.  I hate losing. But it is a great teacher in that it shows you the area’s that you need to improve. 
— Pat Summitt

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?

Performance 

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.

Process 

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

For example:

  • 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, 

  • Follow through

  • 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.

Episode 012: Kevin Eastman- Author (Why the Best are the Best)

In this episode we talk with Kevin Eastman who is the author of the new book Why the Best are the Best.

He has spent 13 years in the NBA serving as an assistant coach as well as VP of Basketball Operations with the Los Angeles Clippers.

He was also an assistant coach on the Boston Celtics, who won the NBA Championship in 2008 and were in the Finals in 2010.

What inspired you to write the book?

I believe there is more inside each of us but often we do not know how to get it out.  I wanted to help people reach the goals they may have set as an adult and fulfill the dreams they had as a little kid.

What led you into coaching?

I believe there is more inside each of us but often we do not know how to get it out.  I wanted to help people reach the goals they may have set as an adult and fulfill the dreams they had as a little kid.

 What was your favorite coaching moment?

Winning the NBA World Championship in 2008 with the Boston Celtics and also getting into the national tournament at a small school - Belmont Abbey College

Favorite Quote:

"He who angers you owns you"

 

Episode 011: 4 ways to concentrate

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In this episode we explore 4 ways to concentrate using attentional focus.  Understanding how you focus can help you keep the mental edge to stay on top.

If you are interested in learning more about how to focus better you email FocusedSportPerformance@gmail.com or you can schedule an appointment talk about your specific needs.

Here is the free worksheet that is offered to go with this episode.

Episode 009 - Daniel Slater- Ultra Marathoner

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I interview ultra marathoner Daniel Slater about his adventures running epic long distance races and the mental approach he takes to perform at his best.

What event(s) do you participate in?  Currently I mostly participate in trail ultramarathons, mostly 100 milers.

  • In the winter I try to participate at Tuscobia which has either an 80 or 160 mile and Arrowhead 135 with a goal of one day getting into the Iditarod 350.
  • Winter races are my favorite. The remainder of the year depends on race lotteries, but will consist of a few 100s and some shorter ultras to fill in the gaps or to assist building up mileage.
  • I usually try to go to races and places I’ve never been to before. I have run the Mohican 100 and Kettle Morraine 100 twice each. Other 100s include: Indiana, Burning River, Grindstone, Vermont, Hallucination.
  • I have run the Ice Age 50, JFK 50, Marquette 50 and multiple 50ks. I still do the occasional 5 or 10k and I’m currently training for my first road marathon in 4 years in an attempt to Boston qualify which is different and difficult type of training than I am used to. 
  • Other than the marathon I have a 100 milers planned in Andorra and Virginia and my “A” race is the Bigfoot 200 in Washington in August. 

What are some notable achievements?

  • Completed the Midwest Slam which is five 100 milers over one summer (Indiana, Kettle Morraine, Mohican, Burning River, and Hallucination) in 2016.
  • Order of the Hrimthurs which is a series of 3 winter ultras in one season (Tuscobia 160, Arrowhead 135 and Actif Epica) in 2017. Only 10 people of done this on foot. 
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What is your favorite/memorable race?  Tuscobia 160 in January 2017 was a life changing experience though the 2014 Mohican was my first 100 and very special. 

What got you into the sport of endurance running?  I had spent years after college making half attempts to get healthy again and finally decided I would try to run a marathon likely in an attempt to deal with issues in my personal life.

Favorite Quote: 

  • "Get comfortable being uncomfortable"  
  • "It never always gets worse"

Fun fact:  Played college football, offensive lineman, and weighed 310 lbs. Lost 100 lbs through running and kept it off for nearly 10 years.