Sub-Optimal Performance…

Mitch Schneider
February 11, 2020

Our son, Ryan, and I were discussing the nuts and bolts of coaching after my posts on MAC and A Common Thread appeared, when the notion of sub-optimal performance came up.

Two themes bubbled to the surface. The first had to do with the notion of “You Gotta Wanna.” The idea that doing better requires effort and sacrifice and that performance improvements begin in the mind before finding their way into reality. They begin with the realistic assessment of a talented coach and manifest themselves with the belief increased performance is realistic and attainable.

The second theme was focused on sub-optimal performance. Our inability or unwillingness to do the best we can do. The best we are capable of. It recognized our natural tendency to hold something back and reminded me of something that occurred at a seminar I attended years ago.

Everyone was asked to raise their right hand as high as they could. When every arm was fully extended, the seminar facilitator asked if that was as far as they could go. When everyone agreed they had achieved maximum extension, the speaker asked everyone in the room to try a little harder and reach just a little farther.

Why Hold Back?

Everyone in the audience managed to comply…

The speaker smiled. “A moment ago, you tried to convince me (and, yourself) that you tried your best. That you reached as high as you were capable of reaching. And, yet, when I asked you to push a little harder and reach a little farther everyone here succeeded in doing just that! How was that possible? Why were you holding back?”

Wanting to succeed isn’t enough. Neither is failing to recognize there is always more to give… Until there isn’t. Until you are unwilling to accept sub-optimal performance as an outcome.

If you’re looking for an example you need look no further than Kobe Bryant and his legacy.

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