With the ever-growing access to information it’s reasonable to fall into the trap of thinking that we aren’t doing enough or that we don’t know enough. Players are subliminally tweeted at and their feeds are cluttered with various people posting fancy moves, “new” exercises, long lists of tips, tricks, and services selling exposure. It’s overwhelming and everyone can certainly become victim to believing that we are falling behind the eight ball in a massively complex world. I’m writing to remind players and parents (coaches and myself too) that things are actually a lot simpler than they may seem at times, but I’m also writing to make sure that we understand that simple doesn’t equate to easy.
What would the response be if I offered this advice to a player looking to improve themselves, “Compete every practice, eat healthy foods, strength train, sleep 8-10 hours a night and repeat that consistently over time.”?. Players would likely laugh and parents would be waiting for the rest of the information not believing that it could be that simple. In reality though, how many players not only consistently give their best effort but compete with themselves and their teammates during their allotted practice time day in and day out? Certainly some, but not all. How many players have a well-rounded diet that includes quality sources of protein and vegetables? Not many. How many players engage in a quality strength program (push, pull, squat, hinge, carry) a minimum of two times a week and sleep 8-10 hours a night? My guess again would be some, but not the majority. This is simple, but it’s not easy. The world we live in creates this desire for an instantaneous recipe to success. We are led to believe that we can achieve lofty outcomes in a day or experience exponential growth by doing this fancy exercise with new technology a couple times. Worthy outcomes and recognizable improvement, however, is a gradual ongoing process that starts with doing the simple things consistently over an extended period of time, which takes an immense amount of discipline, and is NOT easy.
Taking this a step further, if you’re a player who could TRUTHFULLY say that you’re checking and have been checking those boxes for an extended period of time (months & years, not weeks), then we can take time to reflect on and evaluate the potential next steps. Even at that point, many would be surprised that the fundamentals remain the same and the prerequisites don’t change. We are so often caught in the trap of chasing; that this illustrious vision we have is only possible with complex strategies and technology. We bypass doing the simple things extraordinarily well over an extended period of time. To many, it’s just too simple and there is no way simple strategies can unlock substantial growth. Hopefully this will act as a reminder that things don’t have to be complicated, but simple doesn’t mean easy.