Regardless of what your pursuit is in life, everyone is basically looking to separate themselves from the competition. In my daily encounters with the athletes I train, I know that they are always looking for that extra edge that they can use in competition. As a coach, I’m always looking for some simple techniques I can teach my athletes that can help them gain that edge and utilize in all aspects of their lives. One simple idea I teach is, “Learn it, Build it, Rip it.”
Whenever I teach a skill, the first step is always to learn it.
1. Learn it: This is skill initiation and takes a high degree of focus. We stress and expect full attention during skill acquisition and most of the time the skill is walked through or done at a low speed. We are looking to build muscle memory. As the athlete is able to perfect the skill at it’s simplest level, we add speed, resistance, and other stimuli to add difficulty.
2. Build it: As we gain confidence, we build on the skill and add links. We visualize all the techniques we teach as being part of a chain. As we learn, we build links and in turn, the athlete builds confidence. As the athlete builds confidence, they aren’t preoccupied with making a mistake but are immersed in the drill. Some simple ways we build a drill is by walking through the drill, doing the drill half speed, then eventually moving through the exercise full speed.
3. Rip it: This is the final stage when the athlete really understands the drill and is able to rip through it. At this stage we incorporate more sports specific stimuli such as a ball being tossed to the athlete or other objects that provide resistance or an additional challenge. When our athletes are at this stage it is fun to watch because everything is happening so fast and the athletes are really able to let it rip!!!
Confidence is key and we stress being able to build success at each level of skill acquisition. By breaking the skill down into its rudimentary parts the athlete is able to master the movement, build confidence, and gain an added desire to take on more difficult tasks. I have seen this first hand in the gym and in the classroom.
Rip it up!!!