I encourage my athletes to slow down and get the techniques down correctly before they try to do them too quickly or powerfully. Sometimes a few of them get frustrated as I continually stop them mid technique and have them start from the beginning and do it again correctly. This is something that not all coaches do and it is something that not all athletes appreciate. The ones that come to understand I am trying to help them end up doing better and improve faster.
A craftsman takes time and pays attention to little nuances that can make or break their work. As athletes and coaches many times it is easier to do things faster and harder because we get a feeling of accomplishment and
exhaustion at the end of workouts. While wearing down the body to then let it build back up is part of training it is not and cannot be the only gauge of progress for an athlete, especially within the grappling arts.
More progress can be made by taking the time to get things right. It may take more time and more mental effort but in the end your technique and body will function at a much higher level. I often say “Slow it down and get it right. You can always add speed and power later.” This philosophy has helped my athletes and I become more technical and have more success in competition. Take a look at your own training and determine how you can become a “craftsman” in your sport.
Developing this kind of quality takes a tremendous amount of thought, creativity and patience. Carpenters and builders take time to “measure twice and cut once”. Architects draft and redraft until the structure is exactly what they envision it to be in their minds. There were considerations about the structural integrity, the type of materials and the design theme all the way down to the oak leaves and their intricate creation.
Your approach to sport and your approach to life must be no different. If you want to experience the thrills of winning, travelling and competing on the biggest stages it takes more than just training hard. It takes more than just wishing.
Getting to the next level for a high school wrestler usually means competing in college and attaining a scholarship. What better way to pay for schooling than through your athletic effort? This kind of success and opportunity must be thought out like the staircase of a craftsman. I teach my athletes how to look at their athletic career and life in this way because decisions made now by a young athlete can change and improve their life forever. Make the effort to plan your life and your sporting career so that you can someday look back on it all and be proud of the work that you’ve done and what you’ve accomplished.