We have all heard the saying “focus on what you can control”. Well this is a whole lot easier said than done however there seems to be some real value in learning to do so. Focusing on results is what comes most naturally for us but unfortunately results are not something we can fully control. Or are they?
I just finished an informal study where I was examining the relationship between the amount of effort an athlete puts into practice / preparation with the results the athlete has in competition. What I found was quite amazing; 80 out of 96 athletes interviewed said effort in practice / preparation was the single most significant factor in controlling success in competition.
To get an idea how your effort level compares with competition results answer the following two questions;
On a scale of 1-10 (where 10 is the greatest effort possible and 1 is almost no effort) how much effort have you put in to your practice / preparation this week?
On a scale of 1-10 (where 10 indicates great results and 1 is far less than desired results) how have your results been in competition(s) this week?
The study suggests that 80% of the time effort level in practice / preparation will be within +/-2 on the results scale. This tells me that a person really can control success, at least 80% of the time anyway and the best way to do it is to focus on practice / preparation effort.
Simply put, if you will make the commitment to go to practices and put great energy into preparing yourself both mentally and physically, then you are doing your best to control results. It won’t always happen, however if you are 9 or a 10 on the practice / preparation effort scale you will put yourself in a position to increase success. Try to get in the habit of defining your success with the level of effort you put into practice / preparation and in doing so you will typically find yourself happier and more successful.
Remember being great isn’t easy, it’s not supposed to be easy but it is your choice. Choose to be great everyday!