TN50#145_It Starts With The Basics_26 December 2023

Hi Team,

I’ll never forget my first day at the Unit.  It was 0115 hours (1:15 am for you civys) and we were somewhere over North Carolina in a blacked-out MC-130.  Our team was about to freefall out into the cool night air to rescue a US Government official who was taken hostage just 2 days prior in a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington DC.  Our first day had started about 20 hours earlier when we excitedly signed in for the very first time and received our badges at the Visitor’s Center.  Imagine our surprise when we found out we’d be going right into planning for a hostage rescue training mission that involved a nighttime freefall insertion and live rounds…  …And cut.

Happy Tuesday and welcome to The Next 50 #145. I like to think of personal performance in 3 components: physical, mental and emotional.  My frameworks focus on 4 Buckets: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think.  This blog is my sandbox for sharing information that you might find useful for your personal performance.

One of you is thinking the following about my intro, “this sounds amazing, sign me up!”  Others are thinking, “wait, this sounds like BS.” If I hadn’t personally written the intro, I’d be thinking both, “this sounds amazing and like some BS!”; but hey, I’m a sucker for a good action movie!  Have you seen my John Wick t-shirt?

I won’t keep those of you who aren’t from my world in suspense, the intro is total BS.  Even in training the mission as described would require 1000’s of hours of training per individual participant but here’s the part I want you to really pay attention to: Almost all the commando training I ever participated in was focused on THE BASICS! 

My good buddy Kyle is a shooting instructor and always gets a kick out of his younger students who, after shooting their first 100 rounds or so, want to know when they get to learn “THE ADVANCED STUFF”.

I spend more time in the gym, and one of my favorites is when someone hits me with the classic, “Hey (very serious look in their eyes) how do I get good at pull ups?”  Here are the Tier 1 answers that everyone who is in a hurry hates:

  1. There isn’t any ADVANCED STUFF
  2. You get better at pull ups by doing pull ups

Does this resonate?  I have definitely been the person who’s in a hurry over my 52 years on this earth but I also have the experience, looking back over my many decades of adventures, to know that focusing on the basics of any chosen skill set is where all of the skill acquisition and positive results come from.

Ok, last thing:  Getting good at THE BASICS, isn’t just for shooting and pull ups!  It works in all domains.  Read that again, it works in all domains:

  • Business/Work
  • Relationships/Family
  • Personal Performance (physical, mental, emotional)

So what do you think?  Want to call BS on the end of this article just like the beginning?  I’d love to hear from you:

As always share the post with your team and anyone who might find it useful and let me know what you think!

Have a good one, Alex

PS. Thank you for reading my blog, I’d really love to know more about what “performance” topics would be most relevant for you in 2024; please shoot me a quick email and let me know your thoughts:

PPS.  If your new to First Principles Performance Coaching, here’s a one stop shop for all my stuff.  You can also shoot me an email at: alex@fpp