Sometimes kids can teach adults huge lessons if we stop long enough to watch and listen and even release some of those ‘adulthood’ shackles! How often will a young child want the same book read or watch the same movie and why do they do this?
I wanted to provide a little insight into one of the practical aspects of this little training philosophy. Why do we play the training plan again and again, in other words why do we REPEAT?
We realize that repetition is a vitally important ingredient for developing skills, and for learning or memorizing certain things but we neglect to go deep enough to see what is does for our understanding.
Back to the children, they always want MORE because each time they discover — key word: discover — more. When we repeat a training plan over and over, it’s amazing what you can find, learn and feel when you decide to look closely enough.
The first handful of times you repeat a session/plan, you are only just getting into the routine or swing of things but even then, you’ll start to notice little subtleties in the impact from other things.
If you explore deeply (repeat over and over), rather then widely (changing often), you’ll develop a greater understanding of your training. With the sessions being KNOWN, you can start to see the impact from other sessions. Did dinner last night help or hinder? How much sleep did I get? How was my attitude going into the session? What are my stress levels like? And any number of other factors that present you with huge learning opportunities to continually refine your approach so that you get more and more out of each time you repeat that session.
There are some typical stages that an athlete goes through when following a repetitive approach:
1. First there is curiosity and excitement, as it’s new and different to what you have done before and you’re eager to find out how it’s going to make you improve.
2. The secrets of the repetitive nature, start to show up. Increased consistency, you feel better, recover better, you have better time management and you see improvements.
3. The curiosity and interest may begin to fade (even though you’re still improving). This is caused mainly by the big misconception in our sport that training plans need to constantly change to surprise or shock our bodies into further progression. That’s just plain B.S!
4. Keep going anyway – find that self discipline and don’t be eager to change so quickly. This is where you catapult yourself to that next level. This is where you need to think long term, because in the longer term it will pay off.
5. Hooked – you have got over the eagerness to change as your further exploration and understanding starts to reveal more and more secrets, you become more skilled, you learn how eke more out of each session and make it more useful.
How to make repetition work
Athletes outsource coaches to help them achieve their goals, to learn more and to get better. Repetition needs to be matched with strong intention — keyword: intention — when you have strong intention to get better, learn more and achieve those goals, these things will gradually happen.
Without intention you’ll find yourself getting bored, gaps will start to appear, mistakes will be made and funnily enough REPEATED!
The final question is not, can you make repetition work for you but WILL you work it to let it work it’s magic on you?