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The Power of the 1% Mentality

March 13, 2017

80 years of competing and one gold medal. Ouch. That's the story of the British Cycling Team until the early 2000s when Coach Sir Dave Brailsford took over and introduced the team to the 1% mentality. Then things changed....drastically. For example, in the 2008 Olympics, the cycling team won 7 out of 10 available gold medals in track cycling. What changed?

The actions were small but the idea was enormous. Here is how it works.

Think of all the aspects that if you do well in them, can make you a better tennis player. For example, my team came up with ideas such as: academics, sleep, nutrition, stretching, mental toughness, practice, relationships, confidence, hydration, etc. Now think of a way to improve each one by a slight degree (hence 1%). Examples could include that you would stretch every morning, drink more water the day of your match, practice with more intensity, wash your hands more to keep from being sick, etc. This is exactly what the cycling team did and they acted on it. This not only showed the power of numbers but it also created a culture of self/team improvement. Everything they did was looked at in a different lens to see if they were making those small things throughout the day to ensure they would compound into results on the track. The results speak for themselves!

How to Incorporate This Into Your Tennis Game

The list generated from my team went for awhile but we noticed they could be categorized into three parts: social, mental and physical. This allowed us to talk to each other and see where our strengths are and weaknesses instead of getting overwhelmed with such a long list. For example, if you feel you are doing really well with your physical preparation for matches but under performing, you may be struggling with the mental strength category so improving all the factors that relate to that by 1% can add up to a win in your favor. Try this out and you may be surprised that this can change your whole mindset and help improve you as a human being rather than just a tennis player :)

See below on a couple of videos to help with protecting your lower back from pain!

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