As many of you know last week I was over in Malaysia at the institute of sport their presenting on optimal recovery techniques. I was the only presenter without a PHD to their name.

Honestly at first I was a little bit intimidated .. but I remembered my purpose of being there and the outcomes I wanted and knew I could deliver.

In the end it was a good presentation and I received great feedback from my peers who now want to introduce this to the athletes and teams under their guidance. This is very cool. We’re talking high performance directors at major national sporting bodies and universities.

Anyway one of the presenters who is now an a senior lecturer in sports science at ACU and has previously held positions at AIS and professional teams like West Coast Eagles did a presentation on high performance coaching. The art and the science.

In the presentation he had an analogy with Rocks, Pebbles, Sand and Water … that he says he got from the All Blacks but a quick search reveals it has been written about many times.

It’s an important analogy that fits well with Triathlon and of course life.

If you look at the picture below (limited potential). This is how most athletes go about what they do. Invariably they end up focused on the minutia and greatly limit their potential because they’re lacking in any real foundation.

See many athletes sweat the small stuff (the gravel and the sand) like, obsessing over data, how aero they are, having the lightest equipment, ceramic bearings and the list goes on.

So they fill the jar (which has a total capacity) first with sand and pebbles and there is not much room for the big rocks.

What are the big rocks?

The big rocks are the most important training factors which provide the underlying performance fundamentals. Without these big foundations you build yourself on shaky ground which comes crumbling down very quickly.

The pebbles and sand are the little things that only matter when the big rocks are taken care of. You cannot leverage the small stuff without having spent the majority of our focus and efforts on the the things that really matter.

But when you put the big rocks in first … well you’ll notice little spaces or gaps in your athletic potential. So we can use small pebbles and then sand to fill these in. Now we’re getting close to fulfilling our potential.. but there is still more room. Lastly we can top the jar off with water.

#boom … we are now pushing the upmost limits of our potential. Sadly this is a place that many athletes get to .. even in life in general. It doesn’t matter about your life circumstances. Sure that can cap what our potential could be if we could in fact do it full time … that doesn’t really matter. What matters is having the long term focus to invest in laying down and developing the big rocks first. Then with some momentum start pouring in some pebbles to fill those gaps. Next comes the sand and finally the water.

Focus on the Big Rocks.

Kristian “helping you focus on what matters most” Manietta

P.S. If you want to ensure you’re focusing on the big rocks then grab an Ironman or 70.3 Blueprint.

P.P.S Further big rocks luanching this week with TSU… a little behind schedule but will be game changing and I promse… worth the wait. TSU + Coaching or TSU + TS Blueprint is like Schumacher & a race car. Built for Success.