26 Apr The Holistic High Performance Model
Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle
Look at elite performance as a gigantic puzzle – and without finding every piece, you will have something missing. This “missing,” is what we are looking for when we seek to improve ourselves, to not only grow in the understanding of what needs to be done, but to develop the skills or knowledge to get it done. When I first started coaching, I realised if I was to help people with their performance, I better understand everything that influences it. This is what started my holistic model of study – and enabled me to work with a vast amount of people outside of my specific area of surfing, because I realised there were some basic, universal principles that applied to everyone, no matter what their field. So, how do we open our mind to the bigger picture of performance – and find what’s missing? Here are 5 basics things to consider:
- Like any puzzle, there has to be a starting point and often the bigger picture doesn’t become clear until you are well and truly into it. So, start! But, start with awareness. That awareness will tell you that the starting point is you. How can you know where you are going, if you don’t know where you are coming from? The best way I have seen is via Kelee Meditation (KM). KM provides a map to your centre, where self-understanding happens, plus a technique that inspires greater perception and the cessation of internalised fear, the biggest block to elite performance. Add time alone each day to contemplate. You may ask some questions like, what are the features of an elite mind? What are the blocks and how am I going with that?
- Break the bigger picture into smaller parts, building from the inside out. In its most simple form, we could look at the mind body connection. Everything in the mind (inside), is the abstract, non-linear part of us (as above), to do with thoughts and emotion; the centre piece. Think composure, focus, confidence, awareness, wisdom, etc. The centre is where you move out from – and if you move outwardly from a mind that isn’t aware, because of distractions, ignorance, anger, or ego, for example, you’re already compromised. Everything outside of the mind, is in the physical realm, to do with the linear (measurable), visible world. Think people (e.g., support network) places (e.g., your work place) and things (e.g., resources).
- Once your puzzle is starting to take shape, the next consideration is how to train the different elements. Don’t procrastinate or visualise scenarios, we don’t improve by thinking about it, we improve by doing it. Ensure your training relates directly to what you are trying to achieve with your perceived outcomes (goals). Every time you train… actually, any time you do anything, ask yourself, how is this going to make me better at what I do? Holes in performance come from holes in understanding, preparation and training, leaving you open to mistakes, inconsistencies, or lost, when something happens that you haven’t trained for. Customise your development to your own strengths and weaknesses (my view is to spend around 80% of your time developing your strengths and 20% developing your weaknesses). Allow time for recovery, (energy management is one piece of the puzzle) and put most of the time into things that are most important. Be careful you don’t spread your attention over too many things, or move on before you have mastered a previous step. This will promote holes in your foundation that can’t hold a higher structure when you evolve up.
- Own it! This is your puzzle, you don’t need to follow anyone, but your own curiosity.
- Lastly, don’t give up. This is the only fail, everything else is learning. So go after it, but be patient and persistent, it takes many years to achieve excellence and if you are to have the complete game, you need to have the complete package. Developing a holistic look will precede a holistic understanding and this holistic understanding will precede a holistic training model – and this will ultimately, ensure a more complete package with your performance, bringing you to a place where you have a mind and body that has no holes (limitations) in the puzzle that is your performance.