An Introduction to Weekly Practices
My high school wrestling coach, 3X Team State Champion, Coach Tonte, was one hell of a coach and a master motivator. He always knew what to say to get you moving, and his wrestling room was filled with posters that were covered with motivational sayings and quotes.
They usually said something tough and intimidating like, “Pain is fear leaving the body!”…“Train like a madman!”…or “Hard work, no excuses!” If you didn’t feel like moving after you read all of those quotes, there was something wrong with you.
One of my favorite quotes was “Failing to plan, is planning to fail.”
I liked this quote because it wasn’t trying to fire, turn, or amp me up. It didn’t make me want to move, but it made me want to think. It was basically saying, be smart about how you approach your goals and create a plan before you do anything.
In fact, this quote was always on the goal sheet that Coach Tonte forced us to fill out at the beginning of each school year. The goal sheet asked us to proclaim our goals for the year. It also made us create a plan for reaching our goals. We had to declare what we were going to change, and what we were going to do differently.
Those goal sheets were very challenging because they forced you to think about what you were willing to sacrifice for your goals. This requires a good amount self-awareness and introspective insight because you have to know who you are and how you can improve yourself and your behaviors before you create a plan of action.
In high school, figuring out a plan wasn’t the challenging part, because everything is laid out for you ahead of time. Your weekly training and competition schedule was determined by coach, so missing a workout wasn’t an option. You also had a whole team of people to keep you accountable. All we had to do was show up to practice and do what coach tells you to do.
As an adult, you don’t have an opponent or anyone to compete against either. When you stop competing in sports, your coaches, teammates, and your opponents are gone. There is no competition or practice schedule for you to follow. There is no one to hold you accountable for your goals. So it’s up to you to create a weekly practices plan to help you accomplish your goals.
(If you don’t have a core purpose or core goals, click on the links, and go through those exercises first, before you set a weekly schedule.)
Why make a weekly schedule?
If you think you’re OK without creating a weekly schedule, you’re right. You should know one thing, though. OK is bullshit. Doing OK is more like doing nothing. Doing OK is a waste of time and energy, and those things are too precious to waste with poor planning. No one’s life purpose is to just be OK. OK?
In a fight, the martial artist that makes the most out of his time and energy wins. This is why the martial artist strives for balance and efficiency in all that he does. This is also why wasted time and energy is the enemy of a martial artist.
Life without a weekly practices plan is wasteful because of one of two reasons.
- Your schedule is too full and you try to do too much. You overextend yourself, having too little time and energy to complete your goals.
- Your schedule is too empty, and you waste time and energy doing nothing.
Giving yourself too little or too much time will eventually get you off balance, and will create problems in your life. The weekly practices plan is intended to maximize your time and energy. By eliminating wasted time and energy, you will ultimately cultivate balance and prosperity in your life. You will be more efficient and effective with your energy, able to make a bigger impact, just like an MMA fighter.
How to create your weekly practices schedule
Creating a weekly practice plan is somewhat tricky. You have to know how much time you can spend pursuing your goals, and you have to know how you should spend that time.
First, find all the free time you have in your schedule. It could be 30 minutes when you wake up, an hour at lunch, or a few hours in the evening after work. Find all of the open spots in your calendar, and determine how much time you will dedicate to your goal.
If you don’t have enough time to reach your goal, reevaluate and reset your goals to match your availability or rearrange your calendar to accommodate for your goals.
Second, figure out how you should spend the time and energy you have set aside for your goal.
This means you need to determine the best type of classes, practices, and workout sessions that will, first, help you strengthen your weaknesses. Then, determine the practices that will help you to maintain your strengths.
Write down all of the different types of workouts, classes, and practice sessions that will help you. For example, running for 20 minutes, or taking a kickboxing, jiu jitsu, wrestling, or yoga class, or, going on a trail hike, are all practices that can help you reach your fitness goal.
Make sure that your weekly schedule includes the right type of training that will bring balance to your mind, body, and spirit.
For example, if your biggest weakness is cardio and flexibility, and your strengths are speed and strength, you should schedule more time for stretching and cardio, and reduce the amount of sprinting and weightlifting you plan to do.
Implementing the Weekly Practices Schedule
Once you know what your week is going to look like, it’s time to make sure that you stick to your plan.
You could hire a personal trainer to keep you accountable, but that gets expensive after a while. There are two things that I like to do to make sure that I remember the plan.
- Put it in your calendar, so that you don’t book anything during those times.
- Repeat the event in your calendar, making sure that that time is blocked off each week.
- Set a reminder in your calendar for each training session, so that your phone will alert you and keep reminding you to train and workout.
A standard smartphone calendar app can help replace the persistence and accountability that comes with a personal trainer, at zero cost.
Writing down your plan and your goals is a powerful thing, in and of itself. However, actually putting your workout session in a weekly schedule, and entering them into your calendar is way more powerful, multiplying the likelihood of reaching your goals by several factors.
Unfortunately, you don’t have me, Coach Tonte, or a team full of wrestlers to keep you on track. However, you can utilize this is a very powerful and effective exercise to help you evolve and be the person you want to be. You don’t need anyone but your own self. Planning a successful week is on you, because failing to plan, is the same as planning to fail.
Plan to succeed, by being a successful planner.