The diamond is one of the world’s more remarkable jewels. They hold a special value for many, being placed on engagement rings, royal crowns, and the world’s best saw blades. Now some of you may be confused by the saw blades, but I think that’s where the beauty of a diamond truly lies. Not only are diamonds extraordinarily beautiful, they are also extremely tough. Though they look great when worn as a piece of jewelry, they are also extremely useful when cutting concrete or steel, things we associate with being extremely tough. The other interesting thing, is that diamonds are merely carbon molecules that have been exposed to a combination of extreme heat and pressure, and are impenetrable by other common elements such as nitrogen. So what does this have to do with your performance?
Almost everybody has heard the phrase “Practice makes perfect.” My favorite response to this came from my high school wrestling coach. Whenever he’d hear someone say it, he’d just roll his eyes and say, “If you pile crap on top of crap, on top of crap, you’re not going to get a diamond, you’re just going to get a pile of crap.” You see, the phrase “Practice makes perfect,” is missing a word: perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
For those who have been doing the regular Parisi classes, come to the recent Parisi strength classes, or have come in with your high school team this summer, you’re probably sick of the same drills and working with a PVC pipe. The repetition of these drills, however, is key in assessing how well you move, and where the missing links are in those movements. These drills mimic how your body is supposed to move during a movement, which is necessary to success in sport. Performance is our diamond that we are trying to achieve, and that diamond needs its supply of ‘carbon.’
By doing drills and learning how to move properly we supply our diamond with carbon. Add in some work ethic, dedication, proper nutrition, and recovery, we now have more sources of carbon. Once we take out the proverbial “crap”, or weak links in our movement, we’re ready for competition, or even life in general. And when the heat of competition shows up, and the pressure starts to add up, our performance doesn’t end up a pile of crap, it becomes a diamond.
Nathanael Littauer is a Strength and Conditioning Student at Appalachian State University, as well as a certified USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach. He is currently interning at Alliance Champions Training Center’s Parisi Speed School.