Putting in REPS…

In my search for the recipe for success I have studied it deliberately and consistency for several years now.  Through my studies have read many articles, books, cases studies, and whatever I can get my hands on or listen to around what it takes to be successful, and how long it takes for someone to become an elite performer in a given skill, sport, profession, or activity.

What I have found and many of you already know, is it takes a lot of REPS in one of these activities to become elite, which can lead to success.

Success can take on many meanings, such as a world champion in a sport, a sought after or recognized person in a specific profession, a great parent who raises great kids, a mentor, etc.  You can come up with your own definition of success, in this context I will use the above to make the point of how you get there.

The first time you do something you aren’t very good.  You can’t be very good, because it is the first time you are doing it.  But over time through deliberate practice and with coaching.  Yes.  Don’t forget the coaching.  Because if you put in REPS without coaching then you could be putting in the REPS wrong.  So coaching is a very important piece.

So what are REPS:

R epeating:  Yes you must repeat the exercise you want to be good at over and over and over again.

E xercises: You have to do the activities.  The activities could be hitting a golf ball five hundred times a day.  It could be shooting free throws until you hit 50 in a row.  As a parent, it could be performing the exercise of showing your child how volunteering helps others, which in turn teaches the importance of being a kind person and have gratitude for what you have already.  Regardless of what it is you seek to have success in you must set up the exercises that lead to success.

P urposefully: Everything in life that is done with purpose means you know where you are going.  If you want to win a championship or have your kids grow up and be great adults, you live your life and create processes and habits to ensure those things happen.  They don’t happen by accident.  Success is never accidental, it is done with intent by focusing on a purpose.


S econd Nature: You practice the skill or the craft you seek to be great at until it becomes second nature.  Good parenting or elite performance comes from practicing the skills over and over with consistency, primarily on the fundamentals until it becomes second nature.

Next time you are thinking about not doing the REPS, remember why you must do them.  If you aren’t getting where you want to be in a certain activity, skill, sport, or profession then I would challenge you to think about the amount of REPS you are putting in.  Is it enough? If you aren’t getting any better, then you most likely are not putting in the REPS necessary to get better. Or you need to hire a coach who can assist you.

One of my favorite quotes that I heard recently that I am really stuck on, illustrates the value of the above acronym:

“Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” 

What exercise or activity do you need to put some more REPS in so you can’t get it wrong?






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