Better People Make Better Athletes
It starts with the development of the person, of the character traits necessary to achieve at a high level. These character traits enable my athletes to follow a rigorous process designed to utilize every minute of every day toward improvement and progress. The process allows us to maximize every ounce of their abilities, which in turn shape our strategy.
Most people focus on the top two—ability and strategy.
If you’re a football team, ability would be things like strength and conditioning work in the gym and practice and drills out on the field. It’s about increasing your speed, agility, and power. It’s about running a faster 40 and increasing your bench press. For a football team, strategy would be about getting better at the playbook; it’s play calling, developing game-by-game battle plans, and executing on the field.
The bottom two parts of the pyramid—process and person—are typically less of a priority.
Process is about defining the controllables that can make you a better performer and maximizing your capabilities in every single one of those areas with a commitment bordering on obsession. Committing to the right process is a critical part of success, but it it’s no magic pill. There’s no one giant step that will get you from where you are to where you want to be. If you want a six-pack, nothing you can do today will get you a six-pack tomorrow. If you’re growing a business, there’s no single step that will get you from ten customers today to ten thousand customers tomorrow. It doesn’t work that way. The only thing that works is pounding on your craft, day in and day out, doing the right things over and over and over again.
There are no secrets, there are no tricks. If anything, it’s the opposite: Whether you are a pro athlete or a guy running a business, or driving a truck or going to school, it’s simple. Ask yourself where you are now and where you want to be instead. Ask yourself what you’re willing to do to get there. Then make a plan to get there.
Think of it this way: If you were a robot, and things like sleep, relaxation, stress, relationships, desires, and temptations were not a factor, how would you program yourself to meet your goals? How much time would you spend on training? What are the exact quantities and ratios of nutrients that you would consume to fuel yourself? How would you recover? What books, high achievers, and game films would you study? Regardless of your chosen sport or profession, the process is the road map designed to get you from where you are to where you want to be.
Guess what? It’s really hard.
We’re not robots; we’re humans. If it were as simple as just writing it down and putting it on the fridge, everyone would be a champion. Committing to a process requires a unique set of character traits—things like grit, resilience, accountability, confidence, optimism, perseverance, and passion. Without these traits, it’s impossible to follow a championship process, which is why character is the first thing I focus on when developing CrossFit Games athletes—the bottom of the pyramid: person.
Whatever the endeavor, the most successful people have some of what we call natural talent, but not so much that it makes them complacent. They’re brimming over with the character traits that promote patient, persistent, hard work. Their physical talents are sufficient to persuade them that they can be as successful as they want to be, but only if they work very hard and work very smart.