Another World Record!

Another World Record

World RecordHere we are enjoying yet another Olympic Games.

I am amazed by what humans have achieved over the years. We continue to break world records and each time that a record falls, we are amazed. A new world record for 50 meter breaststroke was just set; the winner beat the previous record holder by 1.5 seconds. A lifetime of training for a race that lasts less than a minute long; 57.13 seconds to be exact. 60 years ago, the best time in the world was a minute and 12 seconds. Many athletes break their own world record multiple times over the course of their career.

Then there was Roger Bannister

On a damp May day at Oxford in 1954, Roger Bannister ran a mile in under 4 minutes. He beat a world record that had stood for nine years. But he wasn’t just faster; he broke through a barrier and shattered myths of impossibility. At the time, it was thought that a 4 minute mile was a barrier that mankind could not reach. The human body would not be able to handle the stress. The heart would burst, the lungs would fail and it just was not possible. John Landy beat Roger’s record time less than two months later.

Rodger Bannister would not have qualified to run in the Rio 2016 Olympic 1500 meter. Not because he is now 87 years old, but because even his record breaking run is now too slow to qualify for today’s Olympics. Alan Webb, a high school student, ran the 1500 meter in 3:38.26 at a track meet in Eugene, Oregon in May 2001. That translates to about a 3 minute 54 second mile. So now even high-schoolers laugh at the 4 minute mile barrier.

We have been running jumping and swimming for thousands of years – we ought to be pretty good at it.

Logic would suggest that we have to come to the limits of our ability. One of the big stories of the London Olympics was that the swimming performances didn’t do a collective belly flop after the 2010 ban on high-tech, full-body swimsuits. Even so, eight swimming world records were bested in the Olympic pool. 25 swimming records fell four years ago in Beijing and 43 were demolished in the 2009 World Championships. Many more will fall in the Rio Olympics.

What is really going on? How are we able to continue to surpass what was once thought impossible?

Certainly one way is that we measure the results, now more than ever, are coaches focusing in on the metrics of performance and keeping track of what works and what doesn’t. Some advances in swimsuits and footwear can account for a portion of the advancements, but the real answer is coaching itself.

It is very difficult for an athlete to make advancements without continuous feedback and coaching.

Anders Ericsson, a Swedish Professor who now teaches in Florida, says that the way to excellence is by deliberate practice. This is practice that is measured and leads to continuous improvement in performance. Simply doing something for years does not make you better at it. Doctors who have been “practicing” for 2 decades are more often than not, less effective than a doctor who is fresh out of school with one years “practice”.

Anyone who has had a golf or ski lesson can attest to how the trainer was able to, in short order improve the performance. Without continuous feedback on performance and constant tweaking, no one can be world class in their field.

Every sport has coaches. Not all business owners have a coach, but the world class ones do. And they are the ones who set records.

Be great, get a coach!

Contact business coach Rob Carol for all your business coaching needs. Call 604-942-2866 or visit

Rob Carol

Executive Business Coach, Rob Carol, can help you! As your business coach, he will be working with you in five key areas. The emphasis on each area depends on YOUR needs, the type of business YOU have, and YOUR goals.

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