In my years as a trainer & coach, the greatest lesson of them all may be the importance of the fundamentals/basics. Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, said “Why do you think I’m the best player in the world? Because I never ever get bored with the basics.” He was known as the hardest worker, usually the first one in the gym and the last one out. And guess what he worked on most of the time? Yes, the fundamentals. The basics.
As a trainer & coach, I’ve made efforts to seek out the best coaches, leaders, and certifications. In the process, I’ve been introduced to many advanced protocols and theories that can perhaps provide better or even “the best” results for clients. However, I’ve realized that even such advanced knowledge & skillsets pretty much become obsolete without the proper foundation, the basics. What I mean by the basics in this context are the basic science and the principles of training & nutrition. By having such foundational knowledge, not only can you apply the advanced theories & protocols, but also be able to troubleshoot when problems occur. And let’s get this straight: problems will always arise. Thus, when you apply accommodating resistance, contrast training, drop sets, or any other training protocols, without actually knowing the basic fundamentals of training, those protocols become those unnecessary tools in the toolbox which always go unused. The same analogy applies to nutrition as well. The ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, the Paleo diet, the Atkins diet, and all other diets can work. However, without the basic fundamental knowledge of the energy balance, the macro and micronutrients, the nutrient timing, and the food composition, you probably have no idea why it will or will not work.
What I realized is so many other things in life comes down to the basics too. This blog is the epitome of the basics, a fundamental communication medium we’ve all learned to do, writing. Honestly, I’ve never thought of myself as a good writer and perhaps never will. That is absolutely okay because I have become so appreciative of this basic tool because it allows me to organize my thoughts and share some things about training & nutrition in ways that no other medium can do.
Another example of the need for basics is the relationships. The relationship between family, friends, significant other, and etc. Unless the fundamental of a healthy relationship is established and constantly practiced, there is no way any relationship will last (or be a healthy one). I’m using such example because I’ve personally have been dealing with some family relationship problems. During this process, I’ve noticed my blindness to the foundation of any relationship, open communication. Upon any conflict, my natural tendency is to hold in my emotions, which is a personality trait that may never change. However, in my opinion, a problem can arise when I don’t ever communicate those emotions, which was the case recently. Long story short, I realized the need for taking action, the basic action of trying to communicate my feelings, in order to address the problem.
Jim Rohn said,
“To be successful, you don’t have to do extraordinary things. Just do ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
I encourage you to love and master the ordinary/basic things. Rather than trying to find and learn the newest, fastest, or the best thing, try mastering the fundamentals. That will probably be enough.