By Justin Dixon
We all like to win, some so much (and if the stakes are high enough) that they will try to cheat their way to victory…most of us should prefer sincere effort and the application of the mind and the body to gain the win but this effort could well be wasted if it is expended in the wrong direction. To perform effectively in any situation where that performance is the difference between a positive or negative outcome then the lead up and preparation to that moment in time is critical…critical that is if you want to give yourself the most favourable odds in coming out on top…
We’re going to start with an equation…
Effective Performance = Ability X Motivation
Ability; what you can do…
Motivation; why you want to do it…
If we take these two words and examine them in more detail – lets’ assume that each one is a title with three separate sub headings;
This refers to your technical ability within the context of the activity you are doing – obviously within the sport of BJJ we are referring to your repertoire of moves and techniques you have at your disposal. It can also refer to your ability to execute these techniques in the pressure cooker of an actual competition. Skill is not set – it is subject to change either through practice where we should experience an increase in skill level or lack of use where over time it will degrade. Talent is not the same as skill – talent is recognisable potential to become skilful.
Who do you train with? Who is your coach or your mentor? What level are they? Do they give you effective instruction…a great competitor does not necessarily mean they will be a great instructor and vice versa…Do you have access to facilities that are conducive to your skill development? All these are resources that would be drawn on to increase ability. It can also include medical support – physio intervention for injuries, a specific dietary plan with which you may need to find expert input from an experienced nutritionist or financial support so as a competitor you can concentrate on training. Access to effective resources can have a huge effect on the development of your ability.
This is a simple one – your physical condition also referred to as fitness – the higher the condition the more advantage you should be able to make of your resources – again as with skill and resources it is not a fixed criterion, it is measurable and it can increase or decrease depending on activity, age, gender and potential.
Climate in this context does not mean you need to look out the window to check it. It refers to your current situation both physically and socially. If you are a high level athlete and you associate with other like minded individuals then your ‘climate’ would be probably at a very positive and effective level. If though you were trying to compete at a high level but were living in difficult social and personal circumstances with people who did not support of assist you in any way with your training then your ‘climate’ level would have to be on the negative side. It can be changed but it usually requires a lifestyle adjustment and this can be sometimes difficult. An example of adjusting ‘climate’ is going away on a training camp. Many professional athletes do this and surrounding your self with positive influences leading up to a competition should have a positive effect.
It’s probably fair to say that culture is potentially the most difficult to change. Culture refers to you and your history and who you are in terms of your connection with the sport you are involved in. Over time if you stay within the sport you are in then it will strengthen. For example if a high level judo player wanted to cross over into BJJ then he would have a higher score in his ‘culture’ index when compared to a high level speed skater. Both should have great condition but our speed skater would not have the personal historical background in grapple based fighting that our judo player would but what they both would have is a background in high level physical training which is an obvious requirement in preparing for a competition in physical task orientated sport.
Are you willing to commit? The training, the lifestyle change requirements and the dedication required.
Will you do what it takes? Can you do what it takes? This is where your attitude will be tested; it’s your continual fight with yourself to keep doing what needs to be done to do what you are aspiring to do. You can have a low index on culture and climate but you can still choose to have an effective and positive attitude. This one really is up to you at any moment you choose to commit.
Each of our six categories is measured on a sliding scale from 1 to 10, the maximum you can score is 60 and therein is the simplicity of the equation, the closer to 60 you are the more the odds are stacked in your favour that you will perform effectively. You must make the measurement yourself and you need to be brutally honest and you can make it at any time during your preparation process. You can bet that at the final of the 100m in the 2012 Summer Olympics each one of the guys or girls on the line would have a score of 60 – or very close to it. The dedication to perform at the highest level is absolute and it requires absolute commitment to all aspects of the preparation required. It’s interesting to note that in the final of the men’s 100m in the 2012 Summer Olympics all the athletes bar one – Asafa Powell – ran a sub 10 second time – and if Powell hadn’t have injured himself during the race it’s almost a sure thing he would have also ran a sub 10. The total amount of focus, training, effort and commitment to be able to run a sub 10 second 100m is immense – but as we all know in the end there can only really be one winner.
The effective performance model described here is a guide to the key aspect of performing effectively that is if you are serious then you have to turn pro…
A professional leaves nothing to chance, never misses a training session or meeting unless they are ill, they cover all the bases and will do all that is required whilst knowing one singular truth that nothing is guaranteed…even if you are at 60 you simply still may not come out on top – but if a win was a sure bet where would the test truly be?