In today’s episode of Magness & Marcus, we take on the myth of self importance.

As coaches we put a large emphasis on the items which we can control and in coaching terms that means the workout schedule. There’s this idea that creating the perfect workout schedule is the key to success. For years, we spend all of our efforts in refining what kind of workouts to give and when and where to give them. When I go to coaching conferences, everyone wants to know the exact workout plan. It’s ingrained in our heads as coaches to place the workout schedule as the most important thing.

Why? Because it’s the one thing we can control. It’s the item we can manipulate and has a direct impact on the athlete’s success. We’ve also invested a ton of time learning about workout creation, so we have this cognitive bias to think that it is the absolute key because we invested so much time and effort trying to figure it out

What we are unknowingly doing is creating the illusion that the schedule is king and any deviation from the planned practice is a failure. It’s the reason why athletes will go into a panic if they are forced to take a day or so off and will often ask to make up the workout. We deviated from this perfect plan.

This cultivates an environment where perfect conditions and a flawless build up to a race is needed for success. In this podcast, we give examples of athletes taking multiple days off per week PRing, 1500m runners turning into 10k runners, and athletes who didn’t warm up PRing, to illustrate that perfection is not needed. Instead we need athletes who respond to challenges and don’t expect perfection.

So instead of falling into the trap of interventionism, where as coaches we feel this urge/need to do something to demonstrate some sort of control, develop athletes who are flexible and resilient to challenges. Often times it’s the decision not to do something that is the best decision.

I hope you enjoy this week’s episode and remember to keep things in balance and don’t overestimate the value of things that we can control just because we can control them!

Thanks for listening,

Steve & Jon

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