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How to Professionally Taper Like an Athlete

How to Professionally Taper Like an Athlete

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You know me, I love sports! I am an athlete and am married to a high level athlete. I also love it when I can transfer success principles from training right over into business.

There are several sports that involve tapering – a gradual preset reduction in physical training to properly rest and prepare the body for optimal performance on a set future date (game time/race day).

Tapering usually occurs right after several weeks or months of incredibly intense training sessions in which the athlete has had to raise the bar and require the body to grow in ability to achieve it. The body is trained to perform at a predetermined high level threshold for a certain length of time ahead of ‘performance’ time. Doing this in addition to tapering actually enables the body (once rested) the ability and opportunity to exceed the goal (raised bar for expected performance) on game day/race day and set new personal records.

As professionals we can apply this process for tapering to our action plans to boost our performance and results at the optimum time.

I previously wrote this article How To Achieve Your Goal where I discussed the importance of being able to slow down in the midst of the chaos and rush to get big projects done. As the deadline (launching ‘GO’ time) draws near, most people continue to barrel forwards to the finish line believing they must throw everything they’ve got into it to make the deadline and successfully.

This is where many err and why many do not see the results they’d hoped for.

One must slow down, breathe and be making decisions with clarity while taking actions with laser like focus. One must balance the whole picture with the finished goal in mind while keeping one hand on the task in front of them.

When people rush through the final days and weeks before the deadline, they are already in a state of high stress (mentally, physically, emotionally), having reached their peak threshold (creativity and productivity ability).

In this chaotic state of exhaustion, in barreling forward, mistakes get made, important small details are overlooked, craftsmanship is ignored, and all one sees is the need to keep barreling towards a sharp turn at the edge of a cliff.

If you want to reach the top of the mountain you must slow down.  (I discuss this in my book The Decision.) The higher you get (the closer to the goal) the more dangerous it becomes and the need for increased focus and precise actions reaching the goal requires.

So, the wise professional tapers. A few weeks before “Go Time,” the wise one slows way down, even taking a few days off completely! They clear their mindset and they allow the body to get additional rest and relaxation. They refocus on the spiritual aspect to ensure they are indeed aligned correctly and will be continuing on the right path.

Tapering professionally requires clear thinking and trust. You must know, and I mean know – that you will indeed achieve the end goal. That it will all unfold just right. You must value doing quality work with integrity and solid character. You focus on the few ‘true’ remaining pieces of the puzzle to be worked out and do so with ease for when you slow down you are able to tap into your work flow.

When you hurry you skip out on all I just mentioned.

Tapering is like a building contractor and foreman showing up and observing the whole project from across the street and rechecking the details – making sure everything up until now adds up. And then the duo gets up close and gets dirty and really checks the solidity in the foundation, the walls, and makes sure everyone else that is working on the last details is still focused and doing quality work.

I talked about a person’s work flow, tapping into that creative source where your best ingenuity and passion and skills come from and combine together to create the best parts of the entire project. It’s like saving the best for last. That big ‘KAPOW’ of beautiful fireworks that will light up the sky and have everyone else going “ooooh and Ahhhhh!”

You can’t tap into that if you are still stampeding towards the finish line like an unharnessed goon. The best athletes at the end of their game or race finish with solid form and grace.

They finish as strong as they started.

When you apply all of this to your business plans you will find getting to the end result comes with clarity, peace, focus, strength, integrity, intelligence, and ease. Yes, while everyone else approaches their deadlines with high levels of stress, anxiety, fear, doubt, and scurrying about, you can absolutely approach your goal date with confidence, patience, and a state of peace.

Others scramble to the deadline in sheer relief and then worry if their result is enough, that it will pass approval.

You will get to your goal date with assuredness, with a knowing you applied your best efforts and that confidence you have in your work and the peaceful route you took creating your work will result in exceptional results.

This difference in approaching professional goals is the same difference in those who do a 5k then sign up for a marathon two months down the road and barely finish it – if they finish. Compared to the person who runs a 5k, then a 10k, then a half marathon, then in training for a marathon focuses on being able to do solid long runs, then does a marathon and while it is a challenge, they finish and usually surpass their goal time.

Rushing with wild stress professionally leads to mistakes and poor performance and less than ideal results.

Properly training and going about your work with ease, clarity, and focused effort brings you real confidence (knowing you’ve done the prep work thoroughly and are ready for the test) and your results will show it. You will find peers wondering what it is you did differently and just how you got the goal achieved while remaining calm, collected and in control.

Apply athletic tapering to your current or upcoming professional projects and goals. Let yourself be different than those around you. To be successful one must approach life differently than the rest in order to rise above the rest.

Be outstanding and let tapering professionally reignite the love and passion you have for your work.

If you are into sports & fitness check out my Running & Training articles.

If you liked this article you will LOVE my book

The Point of the Marathon

Raising the Bar for a  Higher Level of Living!

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