Marginal Gains + Incremental Improvements = Huge Success
The past few years Team Sky has dominated the world of cycling. Over the past couple of decades many teams and athletes had begun to believe that the only way that they could compete with the best cyclists in the world was to gain an advantage through the use of drugs and blood manipulation. After watching the lies catch up with Lance Armstrong, Team Sky believed that there must be a better way. They wanted to be competitive without cheating and so they took a closer look at every aspect of health, fitness, diet, and bike technology. While they could not make significant gains in any one area they believed that if they could make tiny improvements in many different areas that this would add up to be significant. This became known as a search for “Marginal Gains” and it lead them to win the Tour de France three times in four years.
Looking for small adjustments across many different areas can have a significant impact on your team as well. Teams already practice as many hours as they are allowed, they run many of the same drills, and share similar defenses and offenses. But are you talking to freshman players about the value of sleep? Are you tracking their diet? How about talking to that senior about the influence of his girlfriend? Success in athletics is often the result of having many areas of your life in order and functioning at a high level of excellence. So take some time to dig a little deeper and find the marginal gains that have been going noticed up till now.