Olympic Confidence; The Art of Marginal Gains

Great Britain's men's team pursuit squad set a new world record in the qualifying round at the Olympic Games.



If you’re anything like me you’ve been glued to The Olympics this weekend. I’m not a huge sports fan but we are witnessing something different here – lessons in confidence and success in equal measure. 

What I’ve seen on the TV screen has awed, inspired and uplifted me; the culmination of committment, dedication, perseverance, focus and sheer hard work has moved me to tears.

I love seeing success – and the success that’s being played out on screens all over the world, whether it’s a gold medal, a personal best or simply doing well enough to make it into TeamGB, is quite simply awesome.

This week, I’ll be posting new blog every day, with my reflections and observations about what I’m learning from watching ‘Our Greatest Team’, and the games in general.


Marginal Gains

As I was watching the cycling in the velodrome, I heard the phrase ‘marginal gains’. This refers to the improvements that can be made through small changes to a cyclist’s lifestyle, clothing, equipment and training.

 It means learning to pay attention to the small details that can make all the difference.

For example, a tiny difference for TeamGB are the warming pants worn by the cyclists to help keep their muscles at the optimum temperature. On their own, they aren’t a significant factor, but as part of the wider picture, they are a small detail that contributes towards success.

“…they are a small piece of the formula…the clothing, equipment, training analysis. Every possible detail we’re trying to optimise.” Chris Hoy.

It struck me that one way to ensure that we learn to approach success confidently, would be to look for marginal gains in our own lives.

What small changes in attitude, lifestyle,  routine, mindset or your own personal ‘support team’ could you make?

Where in your own life or work could you pay attention, and make changes, to the tiny  details that might significantly improve your own performance?

Tiny changes, that together could make a huge difference to you.

Where have you made small changes and seen significant results? I’d love you to share your stories here.

And of you haven’t already signed up for the FREE audio download on this site, please do so – it’ll help you to start making your own marginal gains! It’s at the top on the right :)