“Nobody’s perfect.”. We hear it so much in life that it’s basically become a mantra for our society; but it’s true, perfection is almost never seen in this world. Whether it’s in sports, or work, or our personal relationships; perfection is rarely attained and almost never kept up. Fun story though, you can get pretty darn close to, or even reach and keep up perfection within the walls of your gym or sports performance facility. Now this isn’t to say that you’re going to learn the movement technique and be able to execute a perfect front squat day one, but with time and dedication, you can master movements to the point where your sets are largely without flaw. In sports and life, there are too many external factors that can affect your progress toward perfection; life itself is a big ole’ open chain exercise in madness! The gym and training experiences themselves though? They’re closed chain when done right. If you have a good program, a good coach or personal trainer, and the right facility; you can have a flawless experience that yields the exact results you were hoping for. How often can you say this about any of life’s travails?
So I urge all of you, especially the youngest of you, to strive for that perfection. Life can get sloppy, but training can be your sanctuary where you’re in total control and nothing can touch you. This is especially true for athletes. The lateral patterns you use on the football field may not always be clean; but if they’re perfect in practice, your embedded knowledge of that ability to attain perfection will give you the confidence to perform better. Furthermore, the neuro-muscular patterning that you’ve built up will drastically reduce your margin of error on that particular movement. So seek perfection young warriors, because it’s within your grasp and will empower you like nothing else! Coaches, this is on you too.
In thinking about the idea of perfection in the gym, I can’t help but think of the countless coaches and personal trainers I’ve seen in the strength & conditioning and fitness industries who readily and consistently accept sub-par performances from their athletes and clients. I urge all of you to drive your athletes and clients to seek and attain perfection; even if it seems forever unattainable. Will you sometimes have to change your expectations to attain this? Yes, because not all situations are equal, but if someone is completely unable to perform a single-leg deadlift and you instead choose to use a bilateral pattern, you better put your all into getting them to hit the best darn lift that they or you have ever seen.
I’m a realist and usually a pessimist folks, but when it comes to training myself or others, I’d be doing everyone a disservice if I didn’t constantly seek those elusive perfect movements. Basically what I’m saying is this: keep trying to attain and/or drive others to attain what seems unattainable; you may be surprised by how close you get, and the greater you seek the greater you will find.