I’ve never needed much of a prompt to write about sport, so the London 2012 Olympics has really got my writing juices flowing! In this article I want to go right back to the beginning of the modern games, and a goal achievement tip as valid today as it was back then…
Let’s go back to the first Modern Olympics in Greece.
On the start line for the 100m final, 10th April 1896, 5 runners (one of the 6 qualifiers had withdrawn to save himself for the hurdles which was the next race!) line up to start.
They are all using different starting positions – do you know which runner won?
Thomas Burke, in a time of 12.0 seconds. He started in the crouch position.
The other 4 runners were in various positions to try and give themselves the best start, the runner next to Burke was crouching with wooden supports to give himself a push off!
In fact it was Burke’s push upwards and out that got the best propulsion, and that start was soon taken on by everyone – that’s the point of today’s article…
It’s all about pushing the boundaries of what is accepted, by trying something new.
Once the crouch start had been accepted, it developed into digging holes in the cinder track to get a solid push off. Then the blocks were invented to allow a portable base which didn’t pot hole the track!
Then it was the body type of the runner which changed, moving from a floaty runner to the powerhouse bulky runner, built up with muscle to allow more energy to be released in the explosive burst of the 100m.
Moving forward to 2008, and Usain Bolt appeared on the scene. Tall runners were considered unsuitable for the 100m, but at 6’4″ Bolt shattered the world record, because he could turn his legs over as fast as the shorter runners, but his height meant the same number of strides in the race would get him further down the track.
I love how sports are pushed forward in their development by trial and error, in this case running 100m as fast as possible. You can draw a fairly clear line through the history of the event from Bolt back to Burke, and map the developments as they came along.
It’s possible that with your own goal, you may have to push boundaries, to be the innovator, to do things people thought weren’t doable.
I’ll be honest though, that’s not the most likely scenario. Most likely is that someone else has already achieved the goal, the boundaries have already been pushed, the routes to the goal already laid down.
That’s great! It means you can find someone who has achieved the same goal as you, find out how they did it, and then follow it yourself! Things may change once you set out towards the goal, but you have your map to start out!
It’s a powerful technique, so if your goal *isn’t* to win the Olympic 100 metres, think to the pioneers of that event, go right back to Thomas Burke in 1896, and use the lessons crouching in front of you.