“Position your daily actions so time is working for instead of against you. Because time will either promote you or expose you.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Invisible Results
  • Easy to do. Easy not to do.
  • Quantum Leap Myth

What you do when no one is watching is a line oft used by coaches insinuating player development doesn’t only occur while practicing with the team but in addition to the after-hours where no one else is on the court. Invisible results are analogous to the aforementioned coach-speak, and The Slight Edge is a simple trust of the process.

Players may walk out of a gym feeling accomplished after one practice because a coach gives their immediate feedback of a job well done (or not), thus providing a sense of direction towards success. As opposed to going outside to work on your ballhandling by yourself, or finding an empty hoop to get up a ton of shots without the echo of “good shot.” It takes inherent trust that the time being spent is going to pay off down the road. The risk is, maybe, it won’t.

What if you are spending hours working on poor mechanics?

What if you are spending hours solely working on ball-handling that depends upon your dominant hand?

The important point is to start on the path and to remember that no matter what has gone on before, you can begin fresh and new any time you choose. You can start with a clean slate.

Experience becomes the most reliable teacher and coach; over time, feedback is generated from an accumulation of results. You have spent hours to improve as a shooter, yet the low field-goal percentages reflect inconsistency. During the course of the season, defenders are forcing you a general direction causing an increased number of turnovers or mistakes. These types of observations do not require film, coaches, or teammates. It takes time.

Easy to do. Easy not to do.

Emotions inspire reactions, which are not always the most reliant for a sustainable drive to change. It is easy to recognize a low percentage in a box score, then go shoot a ton of shots in the driveway following a game. It is just as easy to go home and suggest tomorrow will be better. The daily dilemma of action vs alternative is an example of opportunity cost and sports. 

The Slight Edge is the act of doing something considered easy, over and over and over again, which is paradoxically not easy to do. Again, it’s easy to get a night on The Gun after a poor performance. Following the next good game, additional shots will seem unnecessary. All of these decisions are made without seeing how impactful the additional shots are towards overall development from one day to the next. Making the decision to actively do something seems more difficult because it is just as easy to believe that one day off won’t hurt. All of these tangents in the book are discussed with fluctuation of diets, new year resolutions, and financial stability. The point being, differences between top percentage performers comes from a daily discipline with disregard of the intangible effects.

Quantum Leap Myth

Immediacy is the kryptonite of progress. And despite the proclivity of blaming the younger generation for impatience, get-rich-quick schemes aren’t new to the bookshelves. In my estimation, yearning for results quickly is based on comparisons to those that have already accomplished something similar. Sports-related or not, our dreams are often imitations of what someone else has already done, but better.

First to fly turns to first to reach space, later becoming the race to the moon. Each event considered a significant (quantum) leap of their own. None of which were accomplished from an impulsive decision to get in a rocket and pull the lever. The suggestion that anything of significance can happen overnight or via luck is the myth.

“But we don’t celebrate any of those real “small steps.” We don’t even know what they are, or who made them.”

The difference between those with the soundbite taking one giant step for mankind is the thousands of steps taken daily that weren’t recorded off-camera. How many of those steps are we willing to take without knowing if they are all in the right direction to eventually land on the moon?

 

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