“Don’t be a D-K!”

“What’s particularly interesting is that those with the least ability are often the most likely to overrate their skills to the greatest extent…People measurably poor all tend to rate their expertise almost as favorably as experts do…”
i came across this good YouTube video on Ted-Ed “The Psychology Behind Why Incompetent People Think They’re Amazing:” which describes the Dunning-Kruger (D-K) Effect. Firstly, i’m posting this as educational reference material to the practicals that i presented at the ’17 Power Athlete Symposium. Secondly, just like the video presents, i constantly reiterate that everyone in some capacity in most arenas in our lives, fall victim to this psychological phenomena of the D-K Effect. i presented this and the coaching tools that we regularly utilize to create “mirror moments” that allow athletes and coaches to gain a better grasp just how far off that we are. These are opportunities to close the gap between our perception and reality as we constantly measure it against desired positive-behaviors (skills) in the arenas.
When done correctly, athletes questioning themselves create highly valuable coaching tools: Why can’t I do this? Why do I suck at this? Why is this so hard? These questioning statements become great opportunities to open the door to adjustments, course corrections and re-framing of their psychomotor-drives at many levels. Especially in training we have a tendency to allow people to do ONLY what they are good at, mostly because we want them to feel good about themselves and because S&C has become a mainstream business. But what is getting lost is the trade-off of the inevitable emotional let-down of failures when it counts the most, the fruits of all of our labors isn’t as sweet as we thought that it was going to be. As coaches we get far removed from game day competitions and consequentially we often put our own personal enthusiasms and goals onto the athletes. There is a constant cost-benefit analysis on time, energy and risk as it compares to the paramount skill acquisition. Chasing a 5-10lb increase on a Hang Clean…a Bench Press…a Back Squat…a Dead Lift… are all great challenges and their achievement fires up any true S&C coach. But we must never, ever forget the waters that must be treaded in by all involved. A novice is splashing a dashing in the kiddie pool, having fun with anything and everything. Watching the exuberance in their eyes, their parents’ eyes and such brings joy to all as the relative safety is not much of a concern. As the “floaties” come off, as the athletes grow older-bigger-stronger and experienced in the weight room, they must move out into the middle of the pool where there is an ever-increasing risk of sink or swim. There is ALWAYS an exponentially rising threat of catastrophic injuries accompanied with an exponential increasing amount of time and energy required to raise heavier PRs once outside of novice levels. There is exponentially increasing time devoted to chasing weight room record boards that is oftentimes sacrificed and taken away from chasing skill perfection of specific sports skills. So, a change in the culture of S&C and its business must occur. The cyclical and comprehensive preparation from birth to death must be an overarching emulsifier.
The antecedent is developing strong habits to carry over into arenas and beyond. Regardless of the dimensions and talents blessed with, the long-range outcome should always be to build highly effective, over-achieving athletes who have forged sustainability over the long haul and who constantly build reliability with their teammates. All of these habitual skills can be carried over if you hear the call of Ares and choose a HERO’s (Highly Effective Rescue & Operator) professional life or within the not-so-friendly confines of the board room. IMG_5995When all is said and done, a lifetime of justifiable sacrifices & experiences leans heavily on these fundamental skills. An arch angel of a program necessitates a reintroduction to normalcy of family fitness, health and well-being. It is at these late-in-the-game moments that we truly recognize the dramatic importance of the quality and emotional driver of every single rep, set and training session. Because, the potential of hardiness of the seedlings that are being planted is proven to be well established at conception. As well, the next generation of rising stars are star-gaze watching us, imprinting our behaviors and our actions into their own plug & play queue. This in turn becomes their subconscious responses, their courses of action, the decision-making ammunition for themselves as well as the generation that they in turn will build…

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