At the very heart of high performance is the question, ‘How can I continue to improve?” A simple enough question, yet one that can have a profound impact on individual and team performance.
The legendary Sir David Brailsford is perhaps the ultimate exponent of this question in practice. His philosophy of Marginal Gains Approach or improvement by 1% increments resulted in astonishing performances by the Great Britain Cycling team and later Team Sky. In continually asking the question of improvement in all areas of cycling, Great Britain Cycling team won eight gold medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. An astounding accomplishment considering their previous record of under achievement and missed podiums. Sir David then took this philosophy to Team Sky as manager overseeing the victories of six Tour de Frances in a space of nine years.
‘How can I continue to improve?’ In forming an answer to this question, the first step is to zoom out and look at the big picture. Where are you going and what do you want to achieve? What’s your vision? Sir David had clear goals to attain and from those goals he begun to meticulously examine every element of riding a bicycle. The same concept applies to you. What are your goals and do you have the passion to relentlessly pursue them? From this place, we can then categories all the elements that will enable us to reach our potential. Physical preparation, mental preparation, social and emotional preparation are all elements that can be divided and further split in the our pursuit of high performance.
We may not all want to emulate the success of Sir David Brailsford and his sporting teams, however there are many lessons we can learn in pursuing high performance and continually asking ourselves the question, ‘how can I do this better?’