Big Pic versus Baby Steps

As reps, we often experience the two competing forces of motivation.  One school says, it’s many incremental improvements that progress you.  The other, claims you only score big by thinking big and dreaming high is the true way.  Here’s a sporting example of how the small improvement theory can fail, picked up from The Times. 

In 1991 Greg Searle won Bronze at the rowing world championships.  Just after, his relatively new coach sat him down for a motivational chat. “He told us that he’d worked out that, as we’d won bronze this time, we could get a silver medal next time.” Searle said it was one of the most deflating things he could have said; Searle and his teammates needed a manager who believed in their potential and recognised their need to be challenged.

A later coach brought a different perspective.  When the world champions beat Searle by 11 seconds, he told him that he was within touching distance and could go on to become the best in the world. He did; Barcelona 1992 coxed pairs Olympic Gold.

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