Going back to basics to improve performance

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How a week’s skiing took me back to basics.

When things are difficult and beyond our control whether it is taking part in sport or at work sometimes just going back to basics can help to re-focus the mind and tweak bad habits, giving renewed confidence and enhancing performance.

Last week I was on the ski slopes and yes I had a fantastic time. I had good equipment and the great company of my friends, however I couldn’t control the weather!

The first day it snowed creating a white out and bad visibility. I have skied for many years but as I came off the first lift I felt vulnerable and unsteady not knowing where I was or which direction I should be going, the snow was falling thick and fast, however one thing for sure was the only way was down and I knew if I could get below the cloud line I would be able to see. This was a challenge, but listening to voices around me I realised I was not alone so taking into consideration everyone’s abilities we formed a snake and keeping close enough so that we could glimpse the next persons brightly coloured jacket we collectively skied down until we came out of the cloud. Very satisfying team work, at the same time as drawing on every bit of knowledge of these conditions I had ever been taught.

The second day the weather was cloudy producing a flat light which created a different problem as the definition of the snow was difficult to read and the piste was thick and lumpy. I had to think back to my ski school days and draw on the basics I had been taught. So keeping the skis running down the mountain , picking my path and planting my pole decisively to make my turn, this gave me rhythm and style and saved me from falling into a heap! So for two days running I had drawn on my ski school knowledge to help me overcome difficult conditions, not wavering from my decisions and using basic skills to prevent me from falling.

I am pleased to say that the rest of the week we had blue skies and perfect snow. My confidence returned and I skied naturally , however the previous days had reminded me about revisiting some of my basic ski school techniques and now that the sun was shining I took the opportunity to practice some of these, to eradicate some of the bad habits I had fallen into, so increasing my performance with great results!

Sometimes things are outside of our control, they knock our confidence and performance, but by revisiting basic techniques or learning skills can help to refocus the mind, lift the fog, remove bad habits and allow us to perform to our maximum ability.

Very satisfy!

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Do we ever get used to change?

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Building on the theme of the last Kudos blog everyone I meet at the moment seems to be facing some type of change e.g a new IT system, a new job, a new leader or someone key in the organisation hands in their resignation, you discover a health condition you need to manage, something you planned to do is now cancelled…. the list is endless.

How quickly we adapt to changes like these are vital for both our own well being and the organisations or teams we belong too. Change can cause worry and stress but equally it can be the cause of excitement and new challenge.

Some people thrive on change and get bored if things stay the same too long while others love it when everything is predictable, structured and routine. When we talk to people about what motivates them the discussion can go into these two types of reaction and it helps if you recognise which group you belong too.

High performers and those interdependent people, we all strive to be and love to work alongside always have the ability to adapt quickly to changes and embrace new situations.

So if you ever find yourself thinking or saying any of the phrases in the photo above think again. Could you look at the situation differently and maybe the change wont be as difficult as you originally thought. Try it the next time a change comes your way, and it will do very soon !