Consistency. Doesn’t it just separate the best athletes from the average ones? Is it all about the physical talents of an athlete? Their skill, their movement, their IQ? Is consistency in performance a skill? We think so. And just like leadership, it’s a learned attribute. No one is born a consistent performer. They make themselves that way. Here are 5 tips to help you become a consistent player!
1) Details and Habits: The more deliberate you practice, the more detailed you’ll be in games. I love what our coach Jared Bednar says about details and habits. He says there are the fall back, or the lifeline of an athlete in the heat of the battle. If an athlete’s details and habits are in check, the percentage failure in game play is low but the reverse is also very true. We call it “Consistency in Chaos”. It’s all in being disciplined to prepare daily with the right details and habits, the management of that chaos is just so much easier.
2) Discipline: We just hinted about it above. I’ve never met the most elite performer in any discipline, across many cohorts, that didn’t exemplify an enormous commitment to discipline. I might go as far as saying it’s the true Holy Grail of success. Without it we don’t show up. And showing up for most of us, is 90% of the battle. Get in the game and maybe somebody motivates you to bring it today, show up for that early 6am practice and one of your teammates or coaches might push you in competition to a level you’ve never thought possible. But without discipline you don’t show up enough. You don’t even let yourself reach your full potential. Fight the temptations of choosing the easier path. Maintain the highest level of discipline possible, show up and when you show up enough you will WIN.
3) Training Mitigation: Mitigate the easy. Mitigate “this is what everyone does”. We’ve all heard the saying, “Do whatever everyone does, you’ll get what everyone else gets”. That’s so true. So, mitigate it. Get rid of it. And build a new cranial complex of training and preparation that's harder than the real thing. Then in battle, you’ll be free to be instinctual and rely on those good details and habits, harnessed by all that great discipline to get the job done. Believe me. As a coach, we love players who get it done.
4) Winners Breed Winners: Remember when Mom and Dad said, “You are who your friends are!” Yeah, Yeah, Mom and Dad, we get it. Yet the old adage is so true. If you want the best you need to train with the best. The best coaches, best athletes, therapists etc. In recent studies about the effects of peer groups on performance, there is undeniably a strong correlation with performance increase when a subject is inserted into a strong competitive environment. But be careful, a too high competitive environment might have a skillset that is too far above the short-term abilities of your athlete and can cause performance stagnation. Find the right mix of athletes that are a little better and go after em. With a great coach at the helm, you’ll grow.
5) Positivity: Every single facet of our lives will be at some point met with adversity. How you handle it is the key. Staying positive in those tough moments is step 1 to staying on the chase, in the grind, on top of the game. Be careful in regard to “Delusional Positivity”. You know the eternal optimist that’s cutting his grass with a big smile on his face yet the trees are blowing sideways and he doesn’t recognize the huge tornado 500 Feet behind him. That’s a classic. Sometimes we can be “Brainwashed Positive”. That clouds our mindfulness. But positivity is the first key to beating that adversity and keeping the grass green and stars in the sky. Find a way to enjoy the process!
So, looking to be consistent in your game eh? Dig into these 5 key concepts, play with their balance and let’s roll because consistency in performance is where it’s at. The good news is it’s learned. If we can learn it so can you!