The way in which many of our youth sport environments are st
ructured creates an environment which leads athletes to believe that just doing more is better.

Training longer hours and playing in more and more teams is going to get them to the top faster. Quantity is emphasised, rather than quality.

As well as there being an abundance of sporting opportunities to choose from, young athletes who show any sort of promise quickly get caught up in the mass of commitments that get thrust upon them, including :school, club, representative level sport; all of which demand serious amounts of time and energy.

Consequently, very quickly the emphasis falls on just ‘surviving’ what is an incredibly busy schedule, rather than asking “what is the best approach to keep getting better?”

Here’s the crucial thing, just doing more gets in the way of learning

Speed Of Learning Matters

The ability to pick up new skills quickly is one of the most important characteristics of successful athletes. So much so that it is considered to be major factor in developing sporting talent.

However, when you’re so busy going from one thing to the next just ‘doing’, it is easy to neglect the things which matter most to produce quality outcomes.

So, what can you do about it?

3 Steps To Develop A Learning System That Works

Making the most of every single one of your training sessions will help
you to improve faster and achieve more long term success in your sport.

  1. Commit now to being the best you can be every single day

Make the decision to change. Right a little note and put it on your fridge or on your bedroom door to help remind you. Make a promise to yourself that every day you’ll ask yourself this question: “How can I be better at what I do?”

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

  1. Always have a training focus

Specifically define (yes, that means write it down) what you’re going to focus on before you start training or games. Too often I see youth athletes just turn up and go through the motions at training. Without a clear focus you’ll lack the attention and intensity required to effectively learn the things that matter most to your development.

  1. Always reflect on your progress

Take two minutes at the end of every practice and game to reflect on your performance. Try using the following questions: How did you go? What did you do well? What could you do better next time? You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn about yourself, which you can use to significantly increase the quality of your next session.