- The Playbook
- Volume No. 3 : Transform Your Training For Peak Performance
Volume No. 3 : Transform Your Training For Peak Performance
Unveiling the Power of Joyful Practice: How Deliberate Play Shapes Elite Athletes
Happy Sunday Playbook fam!
Today we are diving into movement, a new philosophy for training, and innovative sportswear to enhance your workouts.
What’s The Playbook? The Playbook is your go-to-resource for discovering game-changing trends, insights, and brands that help you improve performance, recovery, and longevity.
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Movement Is Medicine
Movement is life; without movement, life is unthinkable.
Movement is at the core of everything you do. Almost every system in the human body benefits from proper and habitual movement.
Inadequate physical activity levels are associated with $117 billion in annual healthcare costs.
The incredible benefits of daily activity are hard to beat, making it one of the most affordable and effective ways to enhance your health and wellbeing.
Get moving and experience its transformative impact on your life.
Deliberate Play > Deliberate Practice
Transforming the daily grind, while infusing passion into practice.
“It is neither work nor play, purpose nor purposeless that satisfies us. It is the dance between.” - Bernard De Koven
We’re often told that if we want to develop our skills, we need to push ourselves through long hours of monotonous practice. But the best way to unlock hidden potential isn’t to suffer through the daily grind. It’s to transform the daily grind into a source of daily joy.
Ever since the notion of achieving mastery through 10,000 hours of practice took the world by storm, trainers, coaches, teachers, and parents have been subscribed to a particular kind of deliberate practice.
Research demonstrates that people who are obsessed with their work put in longer hours yet fail to perform any better than their peers. They’re more likely to fall victim to both physical and emotional exhaustion.
The monotony of deliberate practice puts them at risk for burnout— and for boreout.Persistence is more likely to translate into performance when passion is present.
Question: How can we build scaffolding to bring passion into practice?
Answer: Deliberate Play
Deliberate play is a structured activity that’s designed to make skill development enjoyable.
Extensive evidence shows that athletes who specialize early in a single sport tend to peak quickly and then flame out.
Don’t count hours, track improvement. Your score is not a symbol of victory; it’s a gauge of progress.
Although it might sound similar to gamification, deliberate play is fundamentally different. Gamification is often a gimmick- an attempt to add bells and whistles to a tedious task.
The aim is to offer a dopamine rush that distracts from boredom or staves off exhaustion. Sure, a leaderboard might motivate you to push through the pain, but it’s not enough to trick you into liking a routine you hate.
In deliberate play, you actually redesign the task itself to make it both motivating and developmental.
Brandon Payne’s Training Philosophy
After transferring from playing to coaching, Brandon Payne had to motivate athletes to do some of the same drills he avoided.
Practice involves multiple skills and it’s rare to love them all. Brandon started looking for ways to work harmonious passion into every element of practice.
He would build the scaffolding to help athletes reach their potential by harnessing their love of the game.
In 2009, Brandon set up a training center for basketball players. One day he crossed paths with a young NBA player whose weaknesses had been rapidly apparent by scouts. One wrote that he was “extremely limited by his poor physical tools.”
Another lamented “He doesn’t have the size, strength or lateral quickness/athleticism. He probably is never going to end up being a star in the league because of his lack of explosiveness.”
Brandon recognized some of his own shortcomings in the player and handed him his business card. They started working together the next morning.
In his first full season after training with Brandon, the player set an NBA record for the most three-pointers made. A few years later he was named the NBA’s most valuable player in back to back seasons. His name is Stephen Curry.
Steph Curry revolutionized the sport by turning it into a marksmanship contest. Despite being the son of an NBA player, Curry didn’t get a single scholarship offer from a top college basketball program.
The summer before his senior year the coach at Davidson college went to see him play. “He threw the ball in the stands, he dropped passes, he dribbled off his foot, he missed shots, but never once during a game did he blame an official or point a finger at a teammate. That stuck with me.”
Additional signs of Steph’s character skills showed up hanging around his father’s team, one of the players noticed that Curry “was like a sponge, soaking up information everywhere.”
Even when struggling in highschool he had the determination to support his team and the discipline to keep his cool. But research suggests that the people with the most discipline actually use the least amount of it.
Instead of replying on willpower to push through a strenuous situation, they change the situation to make it less strenuous.
A clear example comes from research on the marshmallow test. It’s one of the most famous and misunderstood studies in the history of psychology.
Classic Version: Phycologists put a marshmallow on a plate and told four-year-olds that if they could wait a few minutes to eat, they would get two marshmallows.
Preschoolers who managed to resist the urge to gobble up the marshmallow now for a bigger fluffy treat later ended up scoring higher on the SAT as teenagers- a finding that’s been replicated recently.
When Adam Grant first watched the videosd of the marshmallow test, he was expecting to see a subset of kids with superior willpower.
What he saw instead was kids creating bits of scaffolding to remove the need for willpower. Some covered their eyes or the marshmallow. Others sat on their hands. One mushed the marshmallow into a ball and bounced it, turning it into a toy. They had improvised their own forms of deliberate play. That’s what Brandon Payne did for Steph Curry.
Brandon has been training Curry for over a decade now. One of his basic principles: “There is no boring in our workout.” Every drill is a game.
In Brandon’s form of deliberation play, the person you’re competing with is your past self, and the bar your rising is for your future self. You’re not aiming for perfect— you’re shooting for better. The only way to win is to grow.
But rather than repeating the same challenges over and over, Brandon mixes them up. In twenty-minute intervals, Brandon had Curry bouncing from one shooting-and-quickness challenge to another.
The variety isn’t just motivating it’s also better for learning. Psychologists call it interleaving.“Deliberate play creates a game-like situation with pressure. You have to stay locked in and focused.” - Steph Curry
Steve Kerr, “He loves the process. That’s one of the things that ties all great athletes together.
Although it may not turn you into a professional athlete, deliberate play can amplify your motivation and accelerate your development.
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This week we are excited to highlight Omorpho, gravity sportswear designed to make you fitter, faster, and stronger. An athlete’s secret weapon.
Founded 2017 in Portland, OR, they have spent over three years perfecting their Gravity Sportswear collection for all athletes. Walking, hiking, running, football, yoga, fitness, the products are great for everything.
It’s powered by MicroLoad™. Sounds fancy, but it’s simple - by loading your body with small amounts of naturally-distributed weight when training we they help you get stronger, fitter, and faster by simply changing what you wear.
“After using it for months, my explosiveness and broad jumps are a lot better. I'm jumping a lot higher. It’s not an inch difference, it’s like a 4-6 inch difference.” -Alexander Mattison , NFL Running Back (Minnesota Vikings)
The name OMORPHO is derived from Greek, meaning “beautiful,” and is the lens through which we create gorgeous products and services that simplify the pursuit of a fit life.
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