Choke Factor: Lack of Preparation

by Dan McDonogh on Apr 21, 2016

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you knew you were underprepared? If yes, how did that affect your stress level? Your sleep? When it comes to delivering content to an audience or producing great results in athletics, it has been said that top performers spend 90% of their time preparing and 10% delivering.

How much time do you spend preparing? Are you juggling too many projects or training at too many locations to truly give everything the attention it deserves? Have you heard of the 10,000-hour rule? The rule suggests that those who have truly mastered a craft have spent a minimum of 10,000 hours living, breathing, researching and practicing their craft. How many hours have you spent? While you may not yet be at the 10,000-hour level, have you done everything under your control to prepare? If you have, then in most cases it doesn’t matter if things like the environment change. You can handle it!

How to prevent a choke. Use these tips to be prepared:

  • Find a quiet place where you cannot be disturbed.
  • Put your mobile device in a separate room, or put it on mute.
  • Blocking off prep time on your calendar—as if it were an appointment—can help immensely. Then apply the 90/10 rule. For example, for every hour of content or choreography that needs to be delivered, spend 9 hours practicing/rehearsing it.
  • Practice choreography or educational content “out loud” before you deliver it. Practice in an empty room or with someone who can give you feedback.

To read more about how to avoid "choking" in your fitness career, please see "Performing Under Pressure" in the online IDEA Library or in the February 2016 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

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About the Author

Dan McDonogh

Dan McDonogh IDEA Author/Presenter

Dan is currently the Senior Leader of Training on the Global Athlete Performance Team for Under Armour based in Portland, OR. One of his main responsibilities is to ensure that UA has a unified & authentic message around Training in Health, Fitness & Performance globally. Previously, he has played key roles with two other major global brands, TRX & Les Mills International. In July of 2015, Dan was one of three finalists for 'Program Director of the Year' and in 2012, he was awarded the 'Group Fitness Instructor of the Year' from IDEA Health and Fitness Association.