The power of a coach!
Most people don't make progress in their field. In fact, a percentage of physicians, teachers, actuaries and athletes actually decrease in core competency after 10 years of practice in their respective fields. The data comes from a study that was cited in the book "Talent is Overrated" by Geoffrey Colvin and immediately I felt as though this study was exaggerated or perhaps misinterpreted.
Then I reflected on my own experience as a lifter, athlete and coach. I've spent so much time training myself and others that I often overlook small but fairly significant data points... in this case, my own ability to perform a Deadlift.
I've never been particularly adept at this movement, but have performed it in my program for hundreds of repetitions supervised only by my mindfulness and the feel of my body. But sure enough, after years of this kind of "practice" not only had my training stalled, but actually had moved backwards. Through months of slightly poor mechanics and trying harder and harder to pull the weight, I had definitively been counterproductive.
Today I was back in the gym and had a nearly perfect set of Deadlifts. Never felt better, all of my angles were textbook and the heaviest weight felt light. The difference? Two coaches worked with me for 3 weeks and unraveled 2 years of poor technique I had drilled into my nervous system. 3 weeks of "Do this, only" from a coach kept my focus where it belonged and my efforts began to pay off.
Great coaching allows for only excellent performance, while having a solid plan keeps your attention only on the NEXT thing you need to do to succeed. It sounds so simple, but I can't tell you how many times I've been distracted by what other people are doing, what other athletes are saying and how much I doubted the simplicity of an elegant plan.
In all areas of my life, I have sought out a coach to improve something important to me. I had career mentors in the Army that counseled me on leadership. I had training partners in the gym to help beef up my Iron Game. I have multiple training partners and coaches in the martial art community. I have an excellent life coach that keeps me focused on exactly what is important to me. In my career I regularly engage with professional coaches to develop my business and technical capacity.
Whenever I get stuck on something, I get smart on it via the internet and other information avenues. After that, I get coaching. Call it therapy, call it building your team, but whatever you do and wherever you are you will create more change faster if you simply grab a coach and go!