Deliberate practice and flow…

Today, down in the 3PP, six men experienced the feeling of being broke. Not financially, morally, mentally, or spiritually broke but physically. You see the aim of SEAL Saturday is to set stretch goals and keep reaching until the body gives out. We’re deliberately practicing according to Ericsson’s 10,000 hour rule. Step one is setting a stretch goal, step two is to pay attention to the feedback, and step three is to repeat the process – keep reaching. The objective is to put each of us outside our comfort zone, headed to the outer edge of our challenge zone, and every once in awhile venture into the panic zone. High performers in any endeavor follow this formula. They never stop reaching, stretching, failing, falling, processing the feedback, learning, and then back on the beam because they want to…

So, today, we followed the iPad seconds timer app and did what we could. We performed a series of five exercises and kept repeating them for roughly an hour. We broke at all different times and exercises. We all broke. Good.

For me the first of many breaks came on the beam. The exercise is easy to understand and hard to perform. You simply grab hold of the beam and while holding on for dear life, pull your legs over your head, touch them to the beam, lower them back under you, and then back up again. I broke on the second interval. The target was 18 reps and by 14 my body screamed “done.” So, I dropped.

We were only 20 minutes in and my body was shaking like a leaf. Downer saw my fatigued eyes as we headed back up to the beam and without hesitating he muttered, “God, help me.” He was reminding me of my most frequent and favorite prayer. My mind relaxed and I grabbed hold of the beam and kept my mantra of “God, help me,” playing alongside my count. Surprisingly the count increased to 15. A few more iterations under the belt (btw, downer was killing the Ballpups a day after his 55th) and another encouraging word came from Brett. Brett, broken to my left, wasn’t so broke he couldn’t give courage. “Keep going, Chet,” he muttered and my mind told my body to not let him down. So, I found myself staying up for 16. Two friends told me to keep going and so I did.

Deliberate practice is the road to performance gains. There are plenty of other paths but none will make you do what you can. There are no ezpz routes to expertise. Deliberate practice in the 3PP is the precursor to flow moments on the golf course, with the road bike, and in BTL practice after practice after practice. You see deliberate practice is the enabler to flow moments. Moments where you perform at your peak and can’t quite explain how, you just feel the freakin’ magic and it’s good. Want to taste some flow, friend?

Remember a little wisdom from Benny Franklin – “There are no gains without pains.” Go find yourself some like minded men/women and stretch, reach, laugh, and love. Kinda on point as we wrapped up the hour plus today, Blondie had us all splitting a gut as we laughed our way through the last few gains. Thanks, Slo, Brett, downer, littlest fricker, and Blondie for reaching alongside me this morning. Together we improved. Good…

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