- Published: 03 February 2015 03 February 2015
Trevor here. My dad sent me this newsletter from the Alpine Assist program and I wanted to share the first few paragraphs.
I think the reason why some people fail to reach full potential, at whatever task or sport they set for themselves, is that they simply get distracted and forget that all the little outside influences can add up and undermine what they truely want. For some people this 'focus on the task at hand' comes fairly naturally. For Heather and I we read this and feel it's kinda obvious, though reminders that 'everything affects everything' are always helpful.
An observation about many elite athletes is their single minded approach to their sport/craft. Their commitment may seem more like an obsession to the rest of us. They look to have very clear decision filters in place. Everything that they are presented with is ruthlessly evaluated against the binary option of will this make me better at my sport or not. If the answer is yes, they dive into the task. If the answer is no, they are comfortable avoiding this option. Rightly or wrongly, it appears they live in a clean, clear world of black and white. They aren’t tortured by grey decisions. They aren’t torn by competing choices. Their world isn’t murky at all.
Obsessed or committed athletes demonstrate actions like William James’ quote: “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” And, Benjamin Disraeli’s idea that “The secret to success is consistency of purpose.”
This idea has been referred to as “becoming a student of your sport”. British cycling legend, Sir Chris Hoy, said “You always want the best information, you want to talk to the best people.”....
At its essence, the sport of cycling [or triathlon in our case], like ski racing, boils down to everything you do will either make you faster or slower. Period. Hutchinson notes, “Everything from an everything point of view.” “Because an athlete makes their living with their body, everything they do to or with it, everywhere they take it, and everything they put in it has some consequence. It might be an immeasurably small consequence, but there is nothing that is neither ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. Marginal gain or marginal guilt—your choice.”