Inch by inch. The inches are all around us

Life’s a game of inches. For those who’ve seen the film ‘Any Given Sunday’, know the Al Pacino’s pre-game speech where he talks about life being a game of inches and that football is the same. He says that the inches we need are everywhere, they are all around us and when you add up all the inches, that’s what makes the difference between winning and losing.

Here’s the speech for those who haven’t seen it. Please note: it contains strong language.

Becoming the best you can be simply doesn’t happen over night. If you’re a committed athlete with aspirations to excel then you know about hard work. You spend hours training and preparing in the gym and out on the track, field, pitch, court or in the pool. But, is what you do during training and on competition day enough to get the results you’re looking for and to become the best you can be or are there inches around you that you’ve not yet exploited?

You may have heard the phrase by Aristotle ‘the sum is greater than it’s parts’ and about the concept of the aggregation of marginal gains by David Brailsford – the 1% improvements in everything that we do. Like David, Aristotle and Al Pacino’s character in the fillm, we also believe that small things make a big difference over time and that it all adds up.

For example, we’d rather see our athletes do one exercise with brilliant technique and movement quality than five or six of average quality. Because if you build a strong foundation at the start, in this case great technique, over time you’ll be able increase the difficulty of the exercise much more than if you didn’t focus on getting it right in the first place, and so make greater gains.

In an article we read a while ago, James Clear says: “It’s so easy to over estimate the importance of one defining moment and under estimate the value of making better decisions on a daily basis… At the beginning there’s no difference between making a choice that’s 1% better or worse. But over time, the small improvements or declines compound and suddenly there’s a big gap between those who make slightly better decisions on a daily basis and those who don’t. That’s why small choices add up.”

Read James’ full article

We agree. In one of our previous article we looked at creating a winning culture. One of the key messages was aspiring to be the best. If culture is a way of life and we believe aspiring to be the best is part of creating a winning culture, it’s a way of life too. And so, if you consistently chase perfection in every area of your life and fight for every inch around you – you will catch excellence one day, perhaps even sooner than you think. David Brailsford thought that by successfully following his strategy, Team Sky would be able to win the Tour de France in 5 years. They won it in 3.

Where can you make 1% improvements on a daily basis to help you reach your sporting dream? Where are the inches you can take advantage of?

In our team, we fight for every inch for each of our athletes. That’s where the onepeformance part of our strapline comes in. Every time we meet you in the gym, treat you on the physio bench or we sit down to discuss your performance mindset and lifestyle, we’ll work hard for you everyday so that when your time comes, all you need to worry about is delivering the performance you want to.

Helping you fight for every inch

Over the coming weeks we’ll be looking at a few areas you might like to consider. Next week, Tim will share his view on the importance of injury prevention with a particular focus on myofascial release.

Get in touch

In the mean time, if you’d like to discuss how we can help you find the inches, get in touch.

Leave a Reply