How do I get better at….

One question I get quite frequently goes something like this…

“How do I get better at….”

Now that question is extremely open-ended, as everyone wants to get better at different things.

Some people want to improve their skills at assessing and treating knee pain, back pain, shoulder pain, etc.

Others want to get better at their respective strength sports such as powerlifting, Olympic lifting, or possibly even bodybuilding.

And finally, some want to improve their skills as a trainer or coach. Their goal is to get better at developing programming, utilizing coaching cues, etc.

So how do I answer that question?

In my estimation, it’s quite simple – go to an expert on that topic.

And whenever possible, go to a world-class expert. The best of the best.

I’m not the biggest MMA fan in the world (at least not compared to some of the other people who frequent IFAST!), but one guy I respect the hell out of is George St. Pierre. This guy is an absolute animal, and he’s made MMA his life.

I remember watching a documentary about him, and how this guy literally travels the world to learn from the best of the best in every fighting discipline.

Sure it’s convenient to learn from someone local, and you will probably get better.

But if you want to become world-class, you need to learn from the best.

Luckily (for all of us), they created this thing called the “Internet” that allows us to learn from the best, often from the comfort of our own home!

While I don’t necessarily consider myself an expert on much of anything, I’ve done my best to follow my own advice in this case.

When I was working with a ton of clients in low back pain, I read everything I could from Stuart McGill and Craig Liebenson. These guys have dedicated their lives to understanding the lower back, and how to eliminate dysfunction and pain.

When knees became a focal point, I took a ton away from Ian King’s material (Coach King had double-digit knee surgeries due to a motor vehicle accident) along with the work of Dr. Shelbourne, perhaps the leading ACL surgeon in the world.

If periodization or program design are your things, guys like Istvan Balyi and Vladmir Issurin can take your knowledge base to the next level.

And finally, when my goal was to get stronger, I went to guys like Louie Simmons and Dave Tate who had been getting the strongest guys in the world even stronger.

So here’s what I want you to do today; one of my goals is to make the blog more action-oriented. There’s enough guys out there dropping their .02 each and every day, but there’s no call-to-action or material that really gets you focused on being great.

Here’s today’s actionable-item: Determine one thing you want to get really good at. Once you determine what the one thing is, take 30 minutes to an hour and do some homework.

Who is the best of the best?

How can you best learn from them? Seminar? Book? DVD?

And once you’ve figured that out, take the most important step and actually buy something from them. Don’t put it on your wish list and resolve to buy it later.

But it today!

And keep this in mind – the best of the best all had to start somewhere. At some point in time, they were just like you – eager to learn, but not necessarily knowing where to begin.

Take action TODAY so that you can be a better trainer, coach, or athlete going forward.

All the best

MR

BTW – I would love to hear what you guys determine to be your focal points. Drop me a line in the “Comments” section below to let the world know what you want to get really good at!

5 Comments

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  1. Great article Mike. My latest one was to increase the mobility in my hips. And without getting your arse to slobbery, I picked you and Eric Cressy as my rehab experts. I have been religiously reading your articles, I got a copy of A&C and doing those exercises daily. My other one has been getting stronger as defined by increased poundage in the main three lifts. My experts are Dave Tate and Jim Wendler. Especially their new stuff, as they have both started to rebel against the fat powerlifter image. Elitefts.com is a great resource, their youtube channel and I picked up a couple of their ebooks like Wendler’s 5/3/1.

  2. You might not consider yourself an expert, but I think you are. I want to be one of the best at helping people with nagging injuries reach their fatloss and performance goals. That is why I read and watch DVD’s everyday, that’s why I make the drive from STL to train with you, that’s why I go to every seminar I can afford, that’s why I’m reading this blog. You learned from the best, and the cycle continues. What I want is for one day someone to be reading my blog to become the best. Thanks for making it easier.

  3. Mike, Thanks for sharing you knowledge. I have been in this field for only six years and with each passing year realize there is so much more to learn. I enjoy your site and have learned a lot from it.
    I am in my late fifty’s and that is the general age of my clients, so I am always on the search for keeping the joints healthy, the body agile and strong.
    Keep the food for thought coming! Thanks.

  4. Mike,

    If you’re not an expert, then I’m not sure who is. You’re helping a lot of us get better with each day.
    RS

  5. Hi Mike,

    Great post thank you! I have been in the industry for five years now, and I know my programming could be better. I have read a lot around it, however there are limited opportunities in the UK to implement it or to see the real deal in action. Therefore I have decided pack my bags and move out to the US to do an internship. I am currently applying now.

    Thanks for the advice!

    John

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