You're Only As Strong As Your Weakest Point
I played soccer professionally for 8 years. I played as a defensive center midfielder. That position is in the middle of the field. For 7 of my 8 years, I played in that position, right in the middle with defenders behind me and attackers in front of me. It was comfortable. I knew where to go, how far to run, and when to pass, shoot, and dribble the ball. Then, one season, the team signed a superstar Brazilian player who played defensive midfielder. Clearly, he was better than me; he was Brazilian! I lost my spot. And instead of being released from the team, I was asked to switch roles and become an outside defender. For those of you who don’t know soccer, this is like asking a pitcher to switch to 2nd base. It’s possible, but you typically wouldn’t see this happen on a professional sports team. It was a long season for me. I had to do everything I was uncomfortable doing: playing on the outside of the field, only defending, getting used to passing and dribbling the ball in a totally different way. Even the fitness required was different. I hated it, to be honest, but I showed up early and stayed later each training session and worked on the things that I sucked at in order to get better in that new position. I never mastered it. I got better, but I never got good enough. What happened that season was interesting, though. The Brazilian superstar ended up sitting on the bench towards the end of the season and I played in front of him. In spending all that time working on the things that I sucked at, it actually made me a better overall soccer player. By the time the end of the season rolled around, I was able to be more effective in my original position as defensive midfielder.
The same rules apply in the gym, by the way. We shouldn’t avoid those things that we aren’t good at in the gym. This is not to be confused with the thing that you don’t like to do in the gym. Everybody hates burpees, but very few of us are bad at them. I’m talking about the activities that you are not as skilled at doing. It’s worth it to spend some dedicated time on these things. I think you’d be surprised to see the impact getting better at the things you aren’t very good at has on everything else that you can already do.
Next week in the gym, we have identified some of the things that our coaches need to work on. They might be some of the very things that you also need to work on. Our programing is based on our weaknesses in an effort to show you how we talk making overall improvements.