I love the lessons that life presents every day…if we are open to “seeing” them. This weekend, it was my daughter (and her gymnastics coaches) that reminded me about the importance of the fundamentals of sport and fitness.
Both of my kids have been doing gymnastics since they were toddlers, but last year they were invited to a developmental trampoline and tumbling program. The interesting part about this program was that it seemed “boring” on the surface. We knew the kids could do more advanced skills, but the coaches were very strict on MASTERY of the fundamentals.
The competitions at this stage are all based on how well the fundamentals are performed. Every child in a given level (1-4) does the exact same routine, and they are scored on their individual performance, not against others.
Once ALL of the skills in a given level have been mastered, a child is allowed to move to the next level. It doesn’t matter whether the child is 5 years old or 12 years old. It’s the skill base that matters. For the past year, both kids have been progressing through their respective levels and diligently performing the skills.
Importance of fundamentals in sport and fitness
It wasn’t very exciting to watch, and we knew they were making progress, but I overlooked how important this phase was.
This past week, my daughter Mackenzie got accepted into a provincial-level program and was able to train/compete with more advanced kids. It was very exciting for her, but it was her training experience this week that highlighted the lesson about the importance of fundamentals.
This higher-level program is structured very differently. Fundamentals are still important and kids are expected to perform them correctly, but now these skills are used as a basis for more advanced maneuvers.
My wife and I were blown away by how easily she transitioned into doing the more advanced skills, but when I took a moment to think about the process, it made sense. It’s the same process followed by musicians, martial arts, and many other fields.
Once the fundamentals in sport and fitness are mastered, it enables large leaps in performance
In education, we call this “learning to learn”. Once you know how to learn, you can learn anything you want. Without the basic skills, you will continue to be “held back”. I mention this because the same concept applies to YOUR health, fitness, and most other areas of your life.
The trap that exercisers (and many personal trainers/instructors) fall into is a failure to master the basic skills that determine long-term success. You are already familiar with this concept and I guarantee you do it in numerous areas of your life already (such as work).
Yet, when it comes to health, fitness, nutrition, and happiness, very few people understand the importance of fundamental skills, they are unsure of how to practice them, and they fail to apply the consistency needed to master them.
The good news is that these “learning to learn” fundamental skills are NOT complicated.
They are exceedingly simple. In fact, a common misconception is that these skills are too simple to matter (or make a difference). There are a number of key skills in each of the 4 Pillars of Performance that will dramatically improve your performance in health, fitness, and life.
Performing them doesn’t require any special talents, equipment, or knowledge. It’s just a matter of doing them…consistently. Here’s a short summary of the top 3 from each Pillar. Remember that the Pillars are in order of importance:
- Identify the core values and beliefs that drive your behavior
- Determine what is most important to you in your life
- Set your top 3 short, medium, and long-term goals and develop a plan to accomplish them.
Our mindset is the filter through which we see the world. In our Mindset Mastery Workshop, you will learn strategies that will help you in cultivating a mindset that creates opportunities and success in your life.
- Establish (and follow) a consistent morning success routine (Like the FRESH! Start Morning Method).
- Implement “Energy Accelerator™” and “Focus Finder™” habits throughout the day
- Create an effective evening routine that includes planning your “Top 3” for the following day
- Learn how to effectively breathe, brace your body for the demands of any situation, and posturally align yourself
- Learn to properly perform all 7 of the Primal Movement Patterns
- Follow the movement spectrum, particularly daily Movement, Activity, and Exercise
- Stop counting calories and trying to “burn calories”. Instead, get excited about fuelling your body for success in life.
- Understand where your food comes from and why that matters.
- Eat great-tasting, whole, natural foods from a variety of high-quality sources at regular intervals throughout the day.
Each of these essential habits (and more) is outlined in detail in The Fitness Curveball book. If you haven’t picked up a copy, it may just be the best decision you make for your health and future performance!
While it may seem daunting, right now you have within you the ability to master each one of them. It will just take time and practice.
Once you’ve transformed your mindset pillar, you will have the energy, enthusiasm, and purpose to “do the work”.
Start at the top of the list and work through each one.
I will leave you with an important quote that I believe sums up mastery quite nicely:
Amateurs practice until they get it right. Masters practice until they can’t get it wrong.
What skills will make the greatest difference in your life? Where are you in the mastery process?
If you want help making them happen, feel free to reach out and book your FREE Success Coaching Session with FRESH! team.
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