The Most Underrated but Important Concept for Performance

It’s the Holiday season and New Year’s is right around the corner. During this time of year, many people are:

  • Eating excessive amounts of food
  • Not exercising or being active due to travel, get togethers, etc.
  • Setting New Year’s resolutions

There are many articles talking about things to focus on during this time of year, such as: setting SMART goals, eating in portion sizes, walking outside for an allotted amount of time to stay active, and the list goes on. While these articles are great, and I believe people should read them to stay motivated and on task, I believe the # 1 concept for increasing performance (whatever that is for you) is consistency.

This sounds like an easy concept, and that’s why I love it. It’s easy to do but also easy not to do. Think about anything you’ve ever done in life. The more consistent you were, the better you were with it. Here are a few real world examples:

  • School –It’s not always the case that the more you study, the better you’ll do. If you pull an all-nighter and study for 12 hours versus studying 30 minutes every day, then you might have covered more in that night than overall, but it’s not quality. Retention of that information decreases a lot. Take it from an average college student aka me. Choosing a consistent study method will ultimately improve your performance in school.
  • Relationships –You can be a great partner and do everything the other wants for one day out of the week. However, if you are consistently doing the little things each and every day, they add up and mean more than that one great day (my wife will enjoy reading this).
  • Sports – Think of professional sports and how many guys you here about having great performances a handful of times, but the athletes that people never forget about are the Michael Jordans, Serena Williamses, and Tom Bradys of the world. This is because they are consistently great, not just sometimes.

I have been an Athletic Performance Coach for the last eight years of my life and in that time I have had many hard-working athletes. The ones that always stand out, and are the most successful in their training goals or sporting careers, are the ones who show up each and every day to put in the work. The old saying “the hardest thing to do is show up” never rang so true. Everyone can train like a Navy Seal one time, but can you consistently train hard every day or multiple days a week. When I look at athletes that are the strongest, fastest, and most powerful in a performance setting, it is almost always the ones who have trained the hardest and smartest for the longest amount of time. For instance, powerlifters can lift over 1,000 lbs in certain lifts not because they trained until they threw up a few times a week but because they lifted heavy loads multiple times a week and stayed consistent with that for years. Same can be said for any high-level athlete.

This also plays a huge role when you are a coach prescribing programs to people. People often hear me say, “It’s not that hard to kick someone’s butt. It’s harder to prescribe them what they need at that given time.” So, as coaches, we must create a program for our athletes to train not only hard but smart. Also, most athletes will give you 100% all the time. Yes, there are some that are lazy and won’t, but in my experience, most will work hard towards their goals. It is our job as coaches to make sure it’s the right kind of work and to get them to keep coming back beyond just a three-month training plan.

Finally here are some tips one can use to be more consistent in regards to training:

  • Train at same time every day so it becomes a habit
    • Try and make this a time you won’t have any excuses get in the way of you completing your task (i.e. sleeping in, can’t get away from work, sporting events, etc.)
  • Stay healthy. This can be due to being consistent with your sleep and eating habits.
  • Make it a priority.
  • Find a class or workout partner. This holds you accountable, making it less likely that you’ll miss.
  • Set goals for yourself. If you have goals it keeps you motivated to try and accomplish those goals instead of just, “I’m working out because I know it’s good for me”

Remember the more consistent you are with something the better you will be at it.