“Little things make big things happen.” ~John Wooden
Something I’ve noticed internally, probably a combination conditioning, old-school Jiu-Jitsu mindset, and lack of know-how is the tendency to make things harder than need be.
Don’t get me wrong, a little challenge is fun and good, but too much challenge and production slows down, eventually grinding to a halt.
Why make things harder? Well I think it fulfills a craving for drama that is probably as human, and possibly related to sex drive and our competitive nature. Let’s face it we love a good story, and what’s a good story without drama!? =)
So what’s the problem then? Well the problem is, in productive terms we want to make things achievable so we can be as successful as possible, carefully building on each success to create momentum over time.
Contrast the above, with me beating this piss out of a strong, athletic white belt in sparring. Yeah there’s a lot of drama for me for me both ego and endorphin wise, but what’s the person on the receiving end getting out of deal?
What’s suggested instead is building a culture on getting specific things done for specific reasons in an incremental way both measurable and achievable.
In other words, know what you’re trying to build skill-wise and have a method behind it, if only for that session.
In accordance with this, you should be able to tell me what you can do better than you could yesterday (skill), and how you achieved that (method). If you aren’t measurably better, you probably need to break things down further into smaller chunks. Not exciting, but effective.
Returning to the white belt metaphor example, we are going to drill instead of spar. If we want to up the intensity and have a bit of fun we can turn that drill into game with parameters set around whatever we’re trying to achieve, but the difference in this scenario is it’s designed for mutual success where we’re taking away specific, intentional benefits for time invested.