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Achieve your Dreams

Create Your Dream Team

Create Your Dream Team

“Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” - Amy Poehler

There is a constant battle in the sport science world about whether genetics or environment (like training) is more important in determining if someone will become a great athlete or not. Obviously genetics play a huge role, especially for factors like height. But environment is also critical, for example how you work on your technique determines to a large extent how good your sport mechanics are. So I'm a believer that both are important.

You can't control your genetics. But you can control your environment and your training. What this means for you is that your personal environment and your training are not small things. And you get to decide who you want to be by creating the conditions around you.

It has been said that people are the sum of the 5 people that they spend the most time with. Which leads to an important question about the people around you:

Are they making me better?

Last year, four women made history by being the first team to row across the Pacific Ocean. They started in San Fransisco and rowed to Australia. It took them 9 months to complete the 8,500 mile journey and they went down in history. All 4 members of the team were vital to their success. Their success was not attributed to one person - it was due to the sum of the entire crew. 

So whatever you are trying to accomplish, make sure you surround yourself with excellent people - people who make you better. This can be someone you like training with. Or perhaps a great partner for talking about healthy nutrition and cooking. Or a great friend who you can relax with and just be yourself. The key is to take some time to think about who you are spending your time with and make sure that they are positive influences on your life.

A great team is part of your environment, and your environment drives your success.

Today's POWER-UP: Recruit Your Dream Team

These are the 5 people that make you better and will help you reach your goals and dreams. I also think that you can help these people be better. Together you can achieve great things.

1. Who:                            

Why I need them on my team:

How can we help each other:

 

2. Who:                            

Why I need them on my team:

How can we help each other:

 

3. Who:                            

Why I need them on my team:

How can we help each other:

 

4. Who:                            

Why I need them on my team:

How can we help each other:

 

5. Who:                            

Why I need them on my team:

How can we help each other: 

The Power of 1% Better

The Power of 1% Better

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” - Michael Jordan

One of the best approaches I have seen for achieving a dream is to focus on being 1% better.

I work with a lot of incredible athletes, but it isn’t always talent that drives achievement. What sets the best performing athletes apart is their dedication to training at a consistently high level. And among that group, there is a factor that sets even the elite athletes apart: lifestyle.

Athletes with daily habits and behaviours consistent with their goals tend to be the most successful. I call them “24-hour athletes.”

This is a key idea for this program. To fulfill your dreams and goals, you have to be committed to improving how you eat, sleep, exercise and think. A 1% change might not seem like much, but small improvements each and every day will amplify your performance.

Dave Brailsford who coached the Team Sky cycling team that won the Tour de France in 2012 and 2013, also applied the principle of aggregating 1% gains. They started by optimizing tire pressure, then working on nutrition, then fitting the bikes to the riders better. This process continued and repeated itself over and over. Ultimately, this approach helped his riders to many championships and medals.

What Team Sky is doing, you can apply to your dreams and goals. Being just 1% better every day is like compound interest for your body and mind, where every day’s gain gets added to yesterday’s “principle” so that you earn results on your results. Doing something small each day will leave you with more of everything: more strength, more confidence and more possibilities.

As we work through all of the advice, information and suggestions of the program, stay focused on micro-improvements. They will build the foundation that supports your dream.

Today's POWER-UP

A 1% IMPROVEMENT IN YOUR LIFESTYLE WILL HAVE A MULTIPLIED EFFECT ON YOUR PERFORMANCE. AS WE WORK THROUGH ALL OF THE ADVICE, INFORMATION AND SUGGESTIONS OF THE PROGRAM, STAY FOCUSED ON MICRO-IMPROVEMENTS. THEY WILL BUILD THE FOUNDATION THAT SUPPORTS YOUR DREAM.

Dive deeper

CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE ON TEAM SKY AND THEIR SECRET TO SUCCESS.

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle

As a high-performance athlete, you spend a considerable amount of time training. Certainly you have to develop the strength, endurance and flexibility you need to excel, but you also have to hone your technique to the point where you can do it without thinking. You get feedback from your coach about your technique and then practice the new approach over and over again until it’s automatic. Great practice leads to great habits.

You can make significant strides toward your dream if you know how to build the right habits.

One example of an elite athlete who practices good habits is Carey Price, a goaltender for the National Hockey League. Price is one of the best goaltenders in the world and is well-known for his good habits. He has very specific routines that he does before every single game that never varies. This is the same for a lot of the best athletes in the world.

There's a reason for this. Routines and habits are what determine our ability to consistently make progress over an extended period of time. If we want to install a new habit, or build a new routine, we need to work on that over a certain amount of time. Research suggests that it takes anywhere between 20 and 120 practise sessions to install new habits. 

Once you do those practice sessions, these new habits become automatic. As soon as it's automatic, you can liberate your willpower. The willpower that you spent installing that new habit can now be focused on performance. At that point you can put more effort into working towards a world-class performance. 

This is why this Program focuses on habits-based learning. I want you to take 5, 10, or 15 minutes each day to install a new habit and do that consistently over time. I'd also like you to focus on installing one habit at a time. When we try and change too much at once, we don't have the willpower to be able to sustain the changes. Work on one habit at a time, and then move on to the next one.

We fall into habits because we are programmed to conserve energy. No one can sustain a heightened level of mental focus and attention all the time. We need automated processes. But we also need to make sure that our habits are helping us achieve our potential.

Today's POWER-UP: Identify My New Habits and Routines

Take some time now to identify a few habits or routines that you want to build this year. You can use The Dream Setting Workbook. Or you can fill out the form below to send me your notes. This will help us to give you some tips and feedback on how you're doing.

Name *
Name
What's your new habit / routine? When should you install it? What's the reward if you do?
What's your new habit / routine? When should you install it? What's the reward if you do?
What's your new habit / routine? When should you install it? What's the reward if you do?

Dive Deeper: Learn from the Pros

Check out these daily habits of the top athletes in the world and how you can apply them to your life.

The Power of Why

The Power of Why

“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” – J. K. Rowling

When I worked as a coach and physiologist with Olympic-level athletes, I was known sometimes as Dr. Blood. I would often take blood measurements during very hard training sessions to see how their bodies were responding. So I got to see athletes really pushing themselves to their absolute limits.

In one memorable moment, I was working with an athlete at a training camp. We were in the middle of a set and I yelled, “C’mon pick it up, let’s go!!!” He stopped, looked at me, and with venom in his voice replied, “I know how to push myself!” He went on to do a great training set, and we didn’t say much after that. We just did our jobs – and the workout was awesome. He didn't need external motivation; his internal drive was already powerful enough to get to the podium.

This moment highlights a key aspect of motivation. Successful athletes are powerfully motivated intrinsically (within the body and mind). They want to reach their potential because that’s what they love doing. They are not motivated extrinsically by anything outside themselves, such as me yelling. I’d forgotten that. According to sport psychology research, extrinsic motivation works well in the short term but not so well over time. Intrinsic motivation is a more powerful motivator for people over both the short and long term.

I want you to think about your intrinsic motivation. This program is all about helping you to improve your performance. Sometimes things will get tough and you will regress or get off track. But if you’re aware of your “why” – why you are working hard to improve – you will recover very quickly. 

Why do you want to get a best time? Why do you want to win more games? Why do you want to make a provincial or national team? If you focus on what drives you from the inside, you will find it a lot easier to implement the new skills, knowledge and techniques that will help you achieve your dreams.

Today's POWER-UP: The 5 Why's

I'd like you to build on the dream and goal setting that we did in the last session.

You can use the Start with Why section of The Dream Setting Workbook. Or you can fill out the form below to send me your notes. This will help us to give you some tips and feedback on how you're doing.

Then I'd like you to dive into your work a bit deeper. Take a look at your dreams and goals and then ask yourself why? Why do you want to achieve those things? Then ask again. Go deeper. Get to the root of why you want what you want. For example, when I was in high school I wanted to make the Olympics in swimming. But at the deepest level I loved to be in the water. Annalise Carr swam across Lake Ontario at 13 years of age, and at the deepest level that was to raise money for a cancer camp.

If you can find the deep reasons why you do things you will be absolutely unstoppable.

Name *
Name
Consider your dreams and goals for a moment. Really bring them to life in your mind. Then ask yourself “WHY?” 5 times in a row. That helps you to get deep quickly on what your real motivations are.

Dream Set Your Way To The Best Year Of Your Life!

Dream Set Your Way To The Best Year Of Your Life!

“If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.” - Walt Disney

Having worked with so many high-performance athletes during my career, I know one thing: promises and goals lack the power to change your life. We have to go bigger.

We have to dream.

Dreams inspire us and consume us. Dreams express our deepest hopes. Dreams capture our imagination. Dreams create powerful change.

Consider this story:

In 2010 and 2012 I attended the Olympic Games as a sport science analyst. I had some incredible experiences and saw some amazing performances. One in particular is etched in my memory. Early one morning during the 2010 Winter Olympics Slovenian cross-country skier Petra Majdic was warming up. Petra was one of the gold medal favourites in her event. But that morning everything went wrong. When she was coming around a corner she slipped and fell off an embankment. This seemingly minor accident was anything but. She had fallen in such a way that she broke her ribs. Her Olympic dream was at risk.

Despite this injury she went on to compete. Each time that she took a breath her broken ribs were scraping over each other. Every time she poled to drive herself forward the vibration forces would have transferred through her arms and torso. Her latissimus dorsi muscles would have been pulling on her rib cage. The pain must have been torturous. But she persevered anyway. She competed in her first heat, and then her second heat, qualifying for the semi-finals. In the semi-final she was fast enough to make it through to the final. Somewhere along the way one of the broken ribs punctured her lung and she suffered a pneumothorax, which is a technical term for a collapsing lung. Still she kept going. In the final she skied her way to a bronze medal.

There’s an iconic picture of her receiving her medal. Two medical personnel flank her on the podium. She refused to go to the hospital until she had been awarded that bronze medal.

After she had been stabilized in the hospital the media were finally allowed to interview her. One question and answer struck me as being life-changing in its importance. The interviewer asked Petra “How could you keep skiing through the heats, semi-final and final despite all that pain?” Petra’s answer was fascinating. She answered “The pain that I went through today to win that bronze medal was nothing compared to the pain that I have gone through training for 20 years to achieve my dream.”

She spoke of dreams. Which is very powerful. You see – dreams are more powerful than goals, despite goal setting being the traditional method for building motivation. They inspire us to new heights. Dreams are our deepest and most dearly held hopes and aspirations. Dreams capture our imagination. Dreams create extraordinary motivation and transformative change. They enable us to live differently.

By dreaming BIG, then making small, consistent improvements can revolutionize your performance. If you really want to achieve something, you can dream yourself into doing it. Dream Setting is powerful. And it is the most effective way to change your performance and life for the better.

We need something that powers us to do more. You need dreams that can drive you to be better. Dreams give you a flame in your heart that ignites passion. If you think about what Olympic athletes look like when they win – exhilarated, thrilled, excited, energized – you will have an image of what the fulfillment of a dream can do for you. 

The critical defining feature of dreams is that they are about passion. If you really want to achieve something, you can dream yourself into doing it.

Today's POWER-UP: Dream Setting

OK TEAM - IT'S TIME TO SET SOME DREAMS! RESEARCH SHOWS THAT IF YOU WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE YOU INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF REACHING YOUR OBJECTIVE. RESEARCH ALSO SHOWS THAT IF YOU TELL SOMEONE ELSE YOUR CHANCES GET EVEN HIGHER. SO LET'S JOT DOWN SOME NOTES ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO BE, DO OR ACHIEVE.

YOU CAN USE THE DREAM SETTING WORKBOOK. OR YOU CAN FILL OUT THE FORM BELOW TO SEND ME YOUR NOTES. THIS WILL HELP US TO GIVE YOU SOME TIPS AND FEEDBACK ON HOW YOU'RE DOING.

ONCE YOU'VE SET SOME DREAMS AND GOALS, THEN TELL PEOPLE WHO YOU ARE CLOSE TO. YOU'LL BE AMAZED AT HOW PEOPLE START TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR DREAMS ONCE YOU START PUTTING THEM OUT INTO THE WORLD.

Name *
Name
Jot down some notes about your high-performance dreams. Don't be afraid to think big, we'll break this down more in the coming sessions.
A goal is a strategy or performance that you pursue and prepare for, and may achieve by following a carefully designed plan of action THIS YEAR. Below, list one or more goals that you want to achieve this year in order to reach your long-term dream. Be as detailed as possible, and make sure you set a timeline to achieve these goals.

Welcome to the Olympic Sport Science Skills Program!

Welcome to the Olympic Sport Science Skills Program!

Welcome to the Program!

We are entering into a potentially life-changing collaboration. Through this program, you have a golden opportunity to raise your level of health and wellbeing. As an elite athlete, the ultimate goal is to improve performance as it relates to sport, while improving health, wellbeing, and performance in all aspects of your life.  

In the coming months, this Program will challenge you to examine how you live. As with any 'training' program, you will improve your physical, mental, and emotional health and performance through sustained commitment and small, daily changes. It won’t hurt. But it does require a willingness to experiment and apply yourself consistently over time.

Over the course of the Program, we will explore how you can

  • Set Powerful Goals

  • Sleep Soundly

  • Think Clearly

  • Eat Smarter

  • Recover and Regenerate Faster

  • Perform Better (including how to have a great taper)

Each month, I'll present you with information that will introduce core concepts and also zoom in on specific skills and techniques that you can work on. There will be question and answer sessions with my team at various stages throughout the program to support your progress. You can send me your questions any time at sportcoach@thewellsgroup.co. Your questions and all communication between us are confidential and are only shared with the Wells Group team - for example if you have a nutrition question our nutritionist will respond to you. The more you engage with the content, the more you'll get out of the Program. Each of the emails will also be recorded so you can listen to them when commuting to school or to practise. Just click on the audio link at the top of each article.

I have spent my entire career working with high performance athletes in order to help them achieve their dreams. This program allows me to bring that experience to you. I am super excited to be working with all of you and intend to help you reach your potential!

To set the stage for growth, the first month of the program will focus on how to set dreams, build great habits, and to create an environment for success. This is an opportunity for you to take a step back and think about what you would like to work on this year to help you reach your true potential. Of course, we're here to help make that happen.

Thank you all for being a part of the program!

Dr. Greg Wells

Today's POWER-UP 

TO GET YOU STARTED, WE NEED TO SEE WHERE YOU ARE. PLEASE TAKE 10 MINUTES AND COMPLETE OUR HEALTH, WELLBEING AND PERFORMANCE QUESTIONNAIRE. THIS WILL ALLOW YOU AND I TO TRACK YOUR PROGRESS AS YOU MOVE THROUGH THE PROGRAM. IT WILL ALSO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO SEND YOU SPECIFIC INFORMATION THAT MIGHT BE HELPFUL IF YOU ARE GREAT IN ONE AREA AND NEED WORK IN ANOTHER. THE AUDIT IS TOTALLY CONFIDENTIAL AND ONLY COMES TO THE WELLS GROUP TEAM.