“Focus on your weaknesses”.
Yes, but to what extent? What does it cost you to focus excessively on your weaknesses?
Better advice: Get your weaknesses up to the acceptable baseline so that they are no longer a liability, but take your strengths to the moon 🌙
Focusing heavily on your weaknesses: Focusing heavily on your strengths:
Makes you blend in Helps you stand out
You become the jack of all trades Helps you become the master of some
Will cause frustration and discontentment Will lead to satisfaction, feeling accomplished
Makes you a better “all around player” Lead to your greatest contribution to the team
Will make you average in many areas Will make you extraordinary in few
For an athlete, a good approach would be:
- Focus 80% of your efforts in your strength zone
- Focus 20% in your areas of weakness
- Once you get the areas of weakness up to an acceptable baseline, shift to 90% strength zone and 10% weakness zone
What if I am the coach of a team and my team is GREAT at offense and terrible on defense? What do I do then?
Being bad at defense is a MAJOR liability! The 90/10 rule absolutely does not apply there.
What if coach tells my son or daughter that they want them to “focus” on improving their left hand?
Spending 20% of your personal practice hours each week working on a weakness like your left hand IS significant! Let’s say you personally work on your skills for 1 hour a day, or 6-7 hours a week. 20% is about an hour and a half!
Note: It’s not how many hours you put in that counts, it is what you put into the hours.
1.5 hours of focused intensity, working on that left hand (or whatever weakness) will get you up to and past that “acceptable baseline” in no time.
Don’t dabble when working on your weaknesses– go full immersion. Our human minds and bodies adapt best when we go all-in in the beginning and then maintain.
The Take Home Point of this Message: the societal norm is unfortunately to obsess over weaknesses.
You will never become who God made you to be and accomplish the things He wants you to accomplish until you pay attention and embrace the things you were uniquely designed to do.
Celebrate your strengths, spend the bulk of your time perfecting them. Acknowledge your weaknesses, address them to the extent they are a liability, and then put time into them if needed to accomplish your future goals and dreams.
This applies to every area of your life, not just sports.
Dedicated to your athlete’s success on and off the field,
P.S. Our traditional school system makes this concept challenging for a young man or woman to embrace. That is why we recognize complementing their school work (which is good and necessary) with more advanced “Life Training and Personal Development”. On September 26th we have a workshop like this happening at PFP. Go here to learn more and get a ticket (in-person or virtual) as well as the workshop video recordings and worksheets.