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Discipline = Freedom

Currently learning a little but making a conscious effort to apply and above all “concrete” fresh ideas, concepts and thinking I’ve learned in the last 3 months (there has been alot of self-led learning lately). Application of knowledge is the best part of coaching, the most, maybe only essential part of coaching and at times the most taxing…at least for me.

For applying new ideas to real world situation and real people (athletes) sets them and ultimately me up for failures. As absolutes don’t exist in sports performance I’ve only got principles to guide me so as long as the application of new “things” is underpinned at all times by principle then, well, then we should all be OK!

Excepting success graciously and failure willingly and learning from either is after all key to growth!

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Prepared to learn no matter the outcome; mind at ease because discipline happened!?

Growth for the athletes I coach, myself as a coach or rider and growth in general is all about MINDSET – some even call it Growth Mindset and you’ll see plenty of sweet wee info-graphics out there with all sorts of “people with a growth mindset don’t watch TV” type think on the go out there! Lovely stuff!

So yes, I am all about the growth mindset, but I don’t think it something best actively cultivated more something that is made obligatory for you by your approach to your environment.

So Step 1 would be make sure your environment is pretty good. If it’s not change it or if that’s not possible….deal with it! Don’t have access to a sweet gym with Olympic bars and coloured plates? Only got too dumbbells and 5 X 5m sq. to train in – fine shut up and get to it…..but of your goals or needs involve increasing max strength or re-habing from injury then maybe seeking out the fancy gym or making your will have to happen. That’s environment management in a nutshell – deal with it or change it!

Tight-Rope of Mindset  Thanks to trainugly.com
Tight-Rope of Mindset – Thanks to trainugly.com

Anyway I’ll get to the point; Discipline = Freedom or Discipline creates Freedom. A guy called Jocko Willink said that. He was a military man where discipline keeps you alive in the country you’re invading for no good reason.

But the discipline he’s on about isn’t in relation to conduct in the presence of superiors. It’s self-discipline and that’s where it relates or transfer to all things coaching and performance. The key common trait in people that perform consistently is discipline and as I’ve said 100000 times consistency is King when it comes to progress. So where does the freedom come in you ask? Well everywhere. FREEDDDOOOMMMM! 😉

When you are disciplined daily then freedom happens. It may seem paradoxical…but it’s not. It’s freedom in light of your goals, wants, needs and desires. For example, self-discipline removes doubt, removes internal ego struggle and get’s ride of ineffective and incessant daily micro-management. All of the above suck time out of day and reduce your freedom. Not it may feel like sticking to your 6;00 a.m turbo session removes freedom, but all it does is create it.

When it’s done it’s done. Add into that the fact that you know after a hard turbo session you needs 60g of Carbs, 30g Protein and some fats, along with the fact you know you’ll be hunger again at 10 a.m. due to EPOC and BMR effects. So your A.M snack is sorted. Homemade muffin, a banana, 1 yogurt and some coffee anyone?

Discipline in daily choices creates simplicity in subsequent choices and that frees up all the space in your head to think and do much more, frees up all the hours outside of training or work or chores, job done!

No micromanagement means you not worrying about every wee detail….you’re not guilty about missing your morning training, you’re not wondering if you deserve that snack, your not wondering if you’ve eaten the correct thing before training this evening, your not wondering if 45 min between the end of work and picking the kids up is enough to warm-up, Mobile, foam roll, train, cool-down, yoga and then eat your Paleo brownies while praying to the high fat gods. All that micro management bullshit is finished with. Results happen because your discipline leads to consistency and that consistency frees up your life for anything and everything else!

Sounds to simple maybe? But the whole idea has it’s own built in safety net and back door. If you’re consistently disciplined and achieving your goals but not happy or not achieving your goals then those goals aren’t for you. Move on, next chapter, new focus!

For the coaches out there reading this you may be wondering how that relates to the you? Well discipline in your approach to everything you do with athletes you train gives them a solid framework, a system almost that they grow to understand and love, they will, if you do your job right preempt you in many of your choices and decisions, meaning that they to now have more freedom and that empowers to “buy-in” to your training philosophy. The athlete will know the goal of a session, understand the intention and desired out come and as such have the freedom to almost build their own training around the key outcome goals. They won’t be doing anything for coach it will all be for them!

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Discipline = chicken dinners; just ask Callaghan

The final anecdote is a classic – the coach, athlete or exerciser, perceived by friends, acquaintances and family as the fitness fanatic. In reality they are just the disciplined and it’s easy, why? Because it works!

There’s a party or social gathering and you the “fanatic” refuse alcohol or the pre-dinner nibbles or whatever other processed filth is circulating the room. Some frown upon your “arrogance” or “impoliteness” others marvel at your self-discipline commenting about how it must be so hard!? But the discipline =freedom; freedom to know you ain’t missing out on anything by avoiding the pringles, freedom to eat plenty of extra meat and veg at dinner, freedom to know that there is no “catch-up” HIIT to “endure” because of your il-discipline one night, Freedom to eat the dessert; why? Because you know discipline works, discipline is easy, discipline creates freedom and freedom = fun!

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It’s the sporadic jump on a training plan, juice diet, boot camp loving, yo-yo dieting self loather that goes on a fitness binge or dry January that then must reward their “discipline” with something “forbidden” that never gets results, never tastes true freedom and never, ever has any real fun!

The disciplined has all the freedom; freedom to know that shredding 5 days in the Alps won’t kill them, freedom to eat that extra dessert, freedom to choose a road ride over MTB or freedom to just sit and enjoy a coffee with friends knowing the work got done, gets done and will again and again, get done!

The discipline to do the simple important stuff always has a knock on effect everywhere else in your life! Simples…freedom!

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