When I first got into coaching, I would read every book imaginable on the subject. I started with the classic training texts like Lydiard, Coe, and Wilt, before venturing into the latest science and physiology from Brooks or Costill. As someone who was known for reading the picture books of the assigned classics in English class, the fact that I was reading anything at all shocked my parents.
Everything I picked up, whether it was a book or article, was specific. It all was contained within a small circle centered on running. As I developed and desired more information, I began to venture out. I picked up books on how the best rowers, swimmers, and cyclists trained. While it might have been about different sports, the theme remained; it was about training.
As the years went by, my search for understanding kept growing. At first, it was to non-endurance sports, then to science fields not specific to sport, and finally to esoteric topics such as philosophy. At each level, as I branched out, I noticed I would bring ideas back that would directly impact my coaching. Instead of getting further away
from my goal of being a better coach, I was getting closer. As I branched out, I was able to step back and notice similarities that I couldn’t before because I was zoomed so far in that nothing but running was clear.
This pattern certainly isn’t unique to me. As I’ve been fortunate to interact with experts in a variety of field, it seems this pattern from specific to branching outwards is a common theme on the path towards hopeful mastery. So it wasn’t surprising when around 2 years
ago, I had a conversation with Brad Stulberg about the similarities that top performers in their field had.
It’s this thought that launched our latest joint book project to explore what these underlying principles and similarities are. As we undertook the journey together to write a book, it opened up doors that we could only have imagined before. By simply opening with “we’re writing a book” we were able to talk to some amazing musicians, artists, scholars, and, of course, athletes from around the world. Beyond that, we got to travel to places where people were doing fascinating work on performance, and to talk to cutting edge scientists first hand.
This post isn’t about that book however, as more will come as we get closer to publication date. Instead, it’s about an idea. Brad and I have notebooks full of innovative ideas and concepts that we’ve accrued from talking to people who are way smarter than us. We spent
hundreds of hours pouring through research and making notes that include hundreds of pages of writing. We’ve condensed a lot of it into our next book, but there was too much leftover on the cutting room floor that was too valuable to simply let die.
One of the reasons we both put out so much information is because we feel strongly about helping people achieve their goals, whatever they may be. We struggle with the same problems that everyone else does, and it seems selfish when you come across an answer and don’t spread it.
What we’ve done then is put together a newsletter that will be delivered to you every other Thursday. Our goal is to provide you with a short one-page email designed to give you actionable information. Every issue, we’ll condense down lessons learned about an interesting performance-enhancing concept and teach you how to apply it to your own life. It’s short, simple, actionable, and packed with research-backed information.
Our first newsletter is about a concept that we’re all familiar with, stress and anxiety. It can be the number one performance killer, or, if we frame it right, the number one performance enhancer. This issue is all about
Please check it out, and if you like it, consider signing up to have it delivered to you every other week. I won’t be posting these on this blog, it’s a separate entry, so make sure to sign up and share with your friends.