Secret to Success = Rest

What secret to peak performance can we learn from Michael Jordan?

Want to be like Mike?

Josh Waitzkin has become a grandmaster in both chess (the movie Searching for Bobby Fischer was about his childhood) and Tai Chi. He realized his gift wasn’t greatness in any discipline, his gift was an amazing ability to learn.

In his book The Art of Learning, he discusses one of the key elements that pro athletes like Jordan use to perform at their peak: spontaneous relaxation.

“…one of the most telling features of a dominant performer is the routine use of recovery periods.”

The pros are able to fully relax during the briefest periods of rest. This prevents them from burning out during hours of play.

Via The Art of Learning:

The physiologists at LGE had discovered that in virtually every discipline, one of the most telling features of a dominant performer is the routine use of recovery periods. Players who are able to relax in brief moments of inactivity are almost always the ones who end up coming through when the game is on the line… Remember Michael Jordan sitting on the bench, a towel on his shoulders, letting it all go for a two-minute break before coming back in the game? Jordan was completely serene on the bench even though the Bulls desperately needed him on the court. He had the fastest recovery time of any athlete I’ve ever seen.

How can you learn to relax like this?

Read the full post here:

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

2 thoughts on “Secret to Success = Rest”

  1. I agree with this post. Mainly because I have had very productive days, followed by a very unproductive day. If I use this rest technique during the productive day, I could possibly stop the lazy, recuperation day that follows.
    Enjoyed reading this post!


  2. Thanks – it’s one of the great ironies of my life that great days are usually followed by less-than-great days… because I’ve worn myself out with all the excitement. It’s a double-edged sword, I guess. I too am seeking ways to incorporate rest periods in the middle of good times, so I can keep consistent.

    Of course at the larger level, sometimes whole rest days are important — like today for me. I just woke up from a good long nap 🙂


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