Being efficient is often more important than any other quality when it comes to work, school, and sports.
Day to day Efficiency
Think of someone who works long hours, but accomplishes very little. Wouldn’t it be better if they worked fewer hours and accomplished a lot. Have you ever been stuck on a project for so long and feel like you're going backwards working on it? What if you took a break, got a snack, did some breathing tactics or meditated for a few minutes and tried again with a clear head. I know from experience that I used to beat my head on accomplishing goals and projects, and now I wake up and go through my morning routine, where I write my daily log with three goals and what I’m grateful for, then I meditate. After this, I’m recharged and feel ready to attack the day, no matter the obstacles in my way!
Be more efficient with your training
Doing strength training, circuit training, and explosive training is fun. However, some things that I find tedious during a training session would be: Foam rolling, cardio, stretching, hand, wrist, foot, and ankle strengthening. Find time in your day to emphasize these exercises and keep you injury free:
Foam roll during rest times in a workout
Stretch or do stationary bike/treadmill while watching TV
Stand on one leg while at standup desk
Be barefoot during lower body workouts
Use finger extensor/flexor devices while driving (15-30 reps each hand then switch)
Efficiency in movement
Ex 1: In sprinting, if you can, run 100 meters in less steps (Usain Bolt runs the 100 meters in 42 steps, 2nd fastest man runs in 44 steps). Enhance your hip mobility, power, and arm action to help elongate your stride length.
Ex 2: In tennis, the ideal way to get back for an overhead or deep ball is by turning and using the drop step or pivot step, and performing a crossover step. If you move to an overhead from the net that is near the service line, it usually takes about 10-12 steps by backpedaling and is far more dangerous. Turning and shuffling cuts that number by about 3-5 steps, and pivoting and crossing over can cut that down to 1-3 steps while you are already turned and loaded for the swing. This crossover step can be used in many other sports to move to a ball or play defense. In general, a crossover step covers more distance than a regular push off shuffle step in all sports.
Ex 3: In change of direction sports (football, soccer, lacrosse, tennis, rugby, basketball), learn to separate feet and push off one foot at a time to cover more distance. A split step is usually taught landing on both feet from a jump, but is ideal if just one foot touches the ground while the other realigns towards the athlete’s intended direction.
Ex 4: In swimming (the breaststroke) you want to spend as much time as possible before decelerating in the streamline position (extended position), then quickly perform the arm stroke and kicking phases with the correct overall stroke timing to get back into the streamline position. This will help maintain speed and efficiency.
Ex 5: If you can teach your body to work as a system (harness the kinetic chain), you will have a longer career in sports and create much more power as a result. The kinetic chain is when you get energy from the feet → legs → hips → shoulder → elbow → wrist to create maximum power without overusing 1 part of that chain.
Quote on efficiency
“Slow is steady, steady is smooth, smooth is fast.” - US Navy SEALs