Before we move forward, let’s look back. In the last few days I have been busy in a few areas:
- Planning 2022 Athlete Education for 2022
- Building out a podcast on Performance Lessons
- Mapping a blog around Season Planning
The good news for us all is that we are not doing things by random, and don’t simply regurgitate old news for you folks, the athletes. Joking aside, while these three exercises were relatively unrelated, there was a strong thread and pattern emerged from all three exercises. This thread was crystallized from a quote that Kelli made in a planning meeting (ironically!): hope is not a strategy. One of my favorite coaching sayings, and a really timely and important one for every Purple Patch athlete.
Hope is not a strategy.
Performance doesn’t bubble up from a random approach, and if we want to achieve performance predictability in any arena we better do some performance planning. Before you get your pens and pads out ready to plan forward, I urge you to first pause and reflect. This week is a perfect time - before the holidays - to take a big breath out and complete a performance post-mortem. For yourself, and your performance. This doesn’t need to be complicated, but the results that will emerge from this reflection should deliver the building blocks for your season planning ahead.
In the podcast around season planning, I labeled 2020 as the year of the lock-down. I decided to label 2021 as the year of emergence. Long-time Purple Patch athletes will be able to reflect on this time last year, and might remember me spouting my opinion that 2021 could provide a year like no other. I anticipated huge breakthroughs in the performance level at professional sport. I also believed that the potential for age-group athletes who navigated 2020 with consistency was very high. I anticipated 2021 being a year of high performance. I would never say ‘I was right’, but ‘I was right’! At the pro-level we saw seismic changes for performance levels, with a normal IRONMAN 70.3 win typically requiring a finish time around 3 hours and 35 minutes. In a recent IRONMAN a 7 hour and 59 minute finish only barely cracked the Top 10. The female athletes were equally impressive, with sub-4 hour IRONMAN 70.3s a relative norm, and performances such as Lucy Charles' IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship being awe-inspiring. Beyond these magical performances, Purple Patch athletes achieved their most impressive collection of performances and results ever. While tough to put exact numbers on it, at least yet, the personal accomplishments blew any other season away. Super. But, and it is a big but. There is much more to go for every athlete. No journey is done, and not every athlete managed to knock it out of the park. If we embrace a growth mindset, whether you had a special year (yes, you Alex, Luke, Heather, Susan and more), or you experienced challenges, we seek elevation in performance in 2022. With this in mind, this week, I suggest that you reflect.
- How was your consistency of training? What can you improve?
- How were my most important habits in nutrition, fueling, hydration?
- Did I successfully maintain strength and conditioning throughout the season?
- Was sleep quality and consistency good? Can I improve
- Did you successfully integrate sport into life? Was the net result improved health, vibrancy and sport performance? If not, what areas could evolve?
- Was I happy with my sporting performances and execution?
But reflecting on the past we are equipped to plan the future. We are going to chat season planning in upcoming office hours, but your best initial course of action is to dissect your 2021. From this exercise you can plan. Performance plan. Then you are not relying on hope.