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Monday, February 20, 2017

Peaked Performance

The worst thing most of us do is aim too low...

Readers might be wondering what in the world the title of this post means. People may have heard of "peak performance" but have certainly never heard of "peaked performance". That is because I just coined the phrase.

Peak performance is defined online as:
...the zone of optimal functioning and flow. It refers to a moment when an individual puts it all together, when they are in the zone, when everything flows, and when they achieve an exceptional performance.
In other words, peak performance can be attained at any point in life...when skill and luck coincide to create a situation where a player performs as well as he can - given his talent and condition. That doesn't mean that a player has peaked, though. A variable like technique can be improved through study and practice. A variables like conditioning can be improved through diet and exercise.

The bottom line on peak performance is that it can be attained in the moment - when everything goes right.

In contrast, peaked performance is the lifetime high point of performance...when a player was never better and never again will be better. This is a tough thing for many to face. But it happens to all of us. It will happen to the best in the game as well as those who struggle at the 2.5 level.

Everyone's physical abilities deteriorate. Some can compensate by improving skills and strategic awareness. Some will reconcile themselves to their fate and just be happy playing the game. Others will be frustrated and walk away from the game disappointed at their loss of status.

That sounds awfully depressing, right? It is not intended to be. The reality is that many players have started playing pickleball only recently and in their retirement years. That means that we have yet to reach our peak. We can still learn more about the game and adapt to better manage physical limitations. But it is not an easy journey. It is full of plateaus and pitfalls.

And that is why I wrote this post. Over the next several days, and then in future posts, I will chronicle my efforts to move off of the plateau on which I found myself in December. I hope you find the posts informative and interesting. They will be general enough that the concepts should work for anyone but specific enough to address real problems and solutions.

Those posts will start in a couple of days. Tomorrow will start with a reality check for some of us. 

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