People think that when it comes to running faster or performing better, it’s about the workouts. How far did you run; how much did you lift? Did you run 400m repeats or 800m repeats? Did you take 3 minutes rest or 1-minute rest?

Those are the details. As coaches and athletes, we obsess over the details. We labor over the exact reps, rest, intervals, spacing, and so forth. When athletes fall a bit short in a workout, a tinge of panic washes over our body. Are they overtrained, can they perform on race day?

When it comes to performance, we obsess over the details, but that’s not where the biggest bang for our buck. Performance is all about your foundation. The oft-overlooked base that allows us to actually perform up to our potential. It’s time to build your foundation. What does that consist of?

Getting better isn’t about lofty goals or shooting for perfection. It’s about having clarity on what you are capable of right now and what the challenge ahead is.

We want to have goals and challenges just a touch beyond where we are right now. Delusion doesn’t help.

1. Accept where you are.

Getting better isn’t about lofty goals or shooting for perfection. It’s about having clarity on what you are capable of right now and what the challenge ahead is.

We want to have goals and challenges just a touch beyond where we are right now. Delusion doesn’t help.

2. Be present in your craft

It’s the Giannis quote, “When you focus on the past, that’s your ego… And when I focus on the future it’s my pride… And I kind of like to focus in the moment, in the present. And that’s humility.”

Step away from the distraction candy store. Be present as you pursue your craft. Leave the phones at home. Focus on your craft, right now.

3. There’s no such thing as an overnight breakthrough.

True development takes time. Adopt a long-term, patience-guided mindset.

Don’t shoot for heroic efforts. It’s not about nailing the one big workout. It’s consistency over a long period of time that matters most. Consistency compounds. It’s stacking week after week, month after month, of good solid work that gets the job done.

4. Those Around You Shape You

Those around us, in our corner, shape who we are more than nearly any other factor. Behaviors, emotions, and even values are contagious. If something infiltrates our group, it becomes part of us as well.

What you stand for is often what your community stands for. Be intentional and deliberate on who you surround yourself. They shape you.

5. Choose simplicity over complexity

It can be tempting to think the answer to performing better lies in the new-fangled exercise routine, supplement, or routine. It doesn’t. Kobe Bryant once gave advice to NBA star Giannis: “You’ve got to be simple.” Nail the basics. Constantly work on your craft, over and over again.

The boring stuff is your foundation

These principles and insights (and others) come from my good friend Brad Stulberg’s new book The Practice of Groundedness. It just came out today.

In it, he outlines the foundation of not only performance, but living a meaningful life. I can’t recommend this book enough.

If you buy now, we’re giving away free bonus items included free training plans over distances from 5k to the marathon. This bonus item expires today. Buy the book then fill out this form to get your bonus items!

Like the content? Join 10,000 others to receive my weekly Performance Newsletter!

* indicates required

Leave a Reply