“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” – Albert Einstein
How many of you train every opportunity you get? And when you do train, whether it is fundamentals, team practice, or cardio… whatever… what is your mindset when doing this? This is an important question to ask ourselves, especially considering recent events which has limited our capacity to do some of these things. What did you do for the last 3 months? How did you stay sharp?
It’s no secret that most of us, with any semblance of desire to perform well when the time comes, will train every opportunity we get. Some believe they have a “natural” talent and don’t’ find it necessary, even when the opportunities are right there in front of them. The words “average” and “adequate” must be amazing comforters for those people. It must be incredibly awesome to be that lazy. Yes, that is sarcasm. You know who you are… don’t run off to a safe space because you feel you are being attacked. Instead, grow a pair and do something about it.
But it is the root of how and why we train that this particular blog post is about. I have used a lot of my time during this quarantine to sharpen skill sets that I found wanting. The one that has most benefited me though outside of the physical is some books and videos by great men. They have helped me prepare my mindset, especially from a coaching perspective. Coaching, at least to me, is more of a mental math equation involving different variables and a sprinkle of psychology. I never realized I did this but a few former and current military operatives helped me put this into perspective… so here we go:
Most of us when we step out onto the paintball field are focusing on one thing, whether it is during a match but almost ALWAYS when we train. That is regardless of WHAT we are training. The majority of you are focused on outcome.
That’s right, the majority of PB players (and well, a lot of other sports and competitors too but this is PB blog so…) focus and strive for a positive outcome. They base most if not all training on success rate… how many times did I snap, how many times did I hit my target, how fast was I when I did it, how many reps did I do, and how many more do I need to feel accomplished?
“As you think, so shall you become.” – Bruce Lee
People have often asked me how I found success with coaching certain teams or lines. And I realized that it boiled down to OUTCOME based training versus PERFORMANCE based training. That was the difference. What’s the difference you may ask? Outcome based training is based around whether or not you SUCCEEDED. Performance based training is based around how well an individual or team did the required specific task at that moment.
See, we ALL perform differently, wouldn’t you agree? Some better than others. But the deal with performance based training is quite simple. Your performance is basically measured by doing what you can with what you have (coaches – take heed).
One thing I have learned over the years coaching 100+ different individuals and 10+ different teams is this – When you give a player the opportunity to train within his capabilities, you will find that, in most cases, that player will improve quicker than if we simply said, this is how you do it, now do it until you can do it like that. Does that make sense? You are creating the environment where the player learns in the most efficient means. In other words, if they can’t learn at the pace that you teach, then you need to teach at the pace that they learn. And THEY will handle the rest…
Over the years, I have watched players get stuck in ruts. They would peak just when I thought they would excel… they get stuck and disillusioned because of this reason or that…they can’t snap a certain way, or run and gun, or communicate, or dive, or move… the list goes on and on. And they get stuck and disillusioned because they are focused on the OUTCOME. Why? Because when you are so set and focused on outcome, you are essentially handicapping your ability to perform. And that is the problem with most programs and coaches for that matter. They want you to go from level A to level B by simply telling you to perform a task and viola – you are better! This works to an extent but a very limited one.
So, “learning” outcome is, in itself, limiting. It is like pointed at a list and saying here is the list of check marks, now check them. Okay… why?
In my opinion, the outcome based training method of teaching or coaching is not just limited/limiting but, quite frankly, anybody can do it. You don’t have to have any expertise to tell someone they should be able to perform a snap shot in paintball…. Duh! It’s completely arbitrary and you see it all the time. I watch players who think they can now coach because they learned a bunch of drills from a video on youtube or the Dynasty Dissected DVD. Or they think they can run a practice because of how they watched pros do it. Coaching and teaching is so much more than that.
Try being the guide… the mentor, a teacher, a COACH. You should be able to show the player what he/she is doing. Then show them what they CAN do, what they are capable of doing. When you do this, they will take control and you will be amazed usually of how quickly that player will push themselves to accomplish and meet the goal.
“Limits begin where vision ends”- Anonymous
I was listening to one high speed low drag former operator and he said the most amazing thing. It resonated with me. He said something along the lines of the probability of achieving your desires (outcome) will increase exponentially the moment you let go of your need to have it. Awesome.
In other words, stop worrying about what others are doing or can do. You need to focus on what is best for you and your team. Start noticing what you need to improve regarding you and your team before you worry about what other players and teams are doing. That’s their problem… not yours.
It’s going to be a cognitive dissonance really. You can choose to change the behavior. But will you..? And why? Going to leave you with one more Eistein quote:
“Everything should be made as simple as possible but not simpler.”
Be water my friends.