Continuous Improvement

Is it realistic to think that an athlete can seek and attain continuous improvement throughout their athletic career? At first glance it sees like the answer would be no, but in my experience that is not the case. As an athlete starts their journey the trajectory of improvement is almost linear, virtually everything the athlete does in training results in improvement in performance. Then there comes the inevitable leveling off process. This is the point in the athlete’s career, the proverbial crossroads, where the coach and athlete need to make a choice, stay the course or seek new ways to get better. At this point a thorough assessment of progress relative to goals and a complete needs analysis and evaluation of the athletes physical, psychological, technical and tactical capabilities is necessary. Once this is done then a plan can be mapped out to systematically work on the areas that need improvement. As the athlete accumulates training years and competitive experience the areas of improvement will be subtler but they are there. In later stages of athletes career the subtle changes often result in profound improvements. The key is to maintain the areas of strength and chose areas of weakness that need refinement. It is process; continuous improvement is possible and in fact necessary for sustained excellence. If you do what you have always done you will get what have always got. That will not be good enough to continue to achieve excellence.

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