We spoke before about the “next level”.
In that note, I expressed the view that it was important to always, always refer to the basics. Nothing has happened since then to change my view.
However, a point was made that along with referring to the basics, we also need to extend ourselves and push beyond the limits of current performance, and explore all possibilities.
I believe this to be a great point and one which we should all bear in mind.
Since the early 70s, I’ve always advocated the idea of training with intensity, but never straining. I still believe in that principle.
The fundamentals of any skill practised diligently and rehearsed again, and again, will seep into the mind, and have a powerful anchoring effect on the performance. We all know how the mind affects the body, but not everyone is aware of the reciprocal effect of the body on the mind.
So when we learn a new move, whether it’s in swimming, martial, arts, weight training, or any other activity this approach will give a holistic depth of perception to the entire movement. You’ll see how you experience the movement and how it translates into a complete and accomplished action.
It is then no longer something you do, but it’s part of who you are. This is when the move becomes internalised and can be performed without thought, performed instinctively.
It’s at this level of performance, and with the repeated attention to the fundamentals, that the body, the nervous system, the physical brain, assimilate the movement and can perform it with an accomplishment that raises it to the level of artistry.
I think it was Anthony Daly, who first said to a team of Dublin hurlers, “Just go out and express yourselves” in a game in which the team then went out and did just that, beating the Princes of hurling, Kilkenny, in the process.
Watching accomplished performers, be they singers, racing drivers, tennis, players, camogie, teams, or anyone else who has practised, learned, rehearsed, and internalised the fundamentals of their skill, is one of the most uplifting events in the human experience.
A friend of mine from the UK, an accomplished weight trainer, unwittingly gave me lessons in how to train with his companionship in the gym sessions we had.
Watching the precision, balance and coordination, which allowed him train with such speed and effectiveness is a memory I will hold to the end of my days.
It was also instrumental in applying what I knew to teaching others who came to my gym.
This man didn’t just do the movement, but performed at a level that amounted to muscular choreography.
There may be movements, activities, events, which you may have forgotten about or have fallen into a humdrum routine of merely going through the motions. Perhaps you worked really well at this activity sometime ago before it became a mindless routine.
If that is the case, it might be something you’d like to start again. You might like to think about what it means to your life, to your performance in any particular activity, indeed to your performance in every area of your life. When you apply yourself with intensity and focus, add clear intention to any activity, you also develop the habit of unfaltering attention.
This habit is a mental one and spreads over into everything else that you practice .
You may wish to take it up again with that different viewpoint, and let it become something that will enhance your life immeasurably.
Have a Great Day and Do Well...