In this episode, we talk about how to get better at things one at a time.
One of the things that I remember after business school is I caught the triathlon bug. So I was reading articles on how people that compete and try triathlons or usually well-to-do people, it's a good sport to start networking in. And for me, I don't like playing golf, so I figured you know what, I'll start being a triathlete.
So for my triathlete mission running is I think something that I really enjoy, I hate riding a bike. I don't know why, I don't know how other people that give for me, it just hurts my back and I don't like, I don't like riding a bike at all. But the swimming portion, this is something that I've never done in open water, and in fact, I'm actually scared of open water like I'm scared of the ocean, I'm scared, it's an irrational fear, but I have this irrational fear of just wide open bodies of water.
But for me to get over this fear and for me to get good at swimming so I can start competing in these triathlons, especially if I'm doing like an Iron Man or something like that where you do have to swim in open water, then I figured that I would hire someone to help me get through this. So I hired a swimming coach and it was actually a swimming coach that was in the U.S. Masters program. So the U.S. Masters program is kind of like a program where people that want to improve their swimming and stuff, like there's this program that's available, I don't know you can look it up if you're interested.
But what I did is I hired a coach to help me with my swimming and when he was giving me instruction and all the different things that I needed to do, I kept on failing because here's what I was thinking in my head. I'm thinking okay, I need to keep my head down, I need to keep my body um parallel to the ground. I need to be able to see where I'm going by turning my head in a certain way. I need to be able to breathe, I need to be able to cut my hands in a certain way so I'm shoveling the most amount of water and getting the most amount of thrust. I need to be kicking my legs. I need to be doing all these different things.
And what was happening is me trying to focus on all these different things, made me unfocused and I wasn't getting any kind of progress and my coach noticed this and he was like 'Robin, what do you, tell me what you're thinking when you are swimming every single time". And I share what you know, I share what I was thinking and he says okay don't do that. The way to get better is you only practice one thing at a time. So instead of trying to focus on the entire thing just focus on your breathing at the beginning, maybe one day just focus on breathing, and then the very next day you can focus on kicking and the next day after that you focus on something else.
If you try to focus on several things all at once you're setting yourself up for failure because it's really difficult to focus on so many things. But if you want to truly improve what I had to do is I just had to focus on one thing and focus on improving that thing. So now all my focus is on one thing, I'm actually measuring that one thing, and I'm improving that one thing and this is how I'm slowly making gains and after I improve that one thing that I can go and start focusing on something else.
So this is a tip that I learned from my swim coach is when you are trying to improve instead of trying to focus on everything at once, just focus on one thing. Pinpoint that one thing, try to improve it, get as good as possible before you move onto the next thing. I hope this helps. This is Robin Copernicus. Boom. Bam. I'm out.
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