When you train and prepare, how hard is it? Does it push you every time to the limit of your ability, or is it simply going through the motions to check the box and move on? As we talked about in our last episode of HighPer 7, when you are in a profession with terminal consequences, pretty good preparation isn’t going to cut it. You need to get better each time, and that comes from training under duress. Even if your consequences of your profession are not terminal, they are most likely binary (win/loss). We might as well learn from what works.

The featured image of this podcast is a picture of actual training for Navy SEALs, the U.S. Navy’s elite special operations forces. In case you can’t make it out on a small screen, that is a group of incredibly tough guys who are undergoing “drown proofing” with their feet bound and their hands behind their back. They get to swim away once they get freed from their binds. Until then, they keep bobbing up and down in the pool. Yep.

This is not something to be attempted unless under extremely controlled and supervised conditions. Its realism can go, well, a bit too far. That’s why it works (and why it requires SEAL trainers acting as coaches).

However, the takeaway is that training under duress improves performance. Whether that is trying to beat the clock, improve your personal record or with add an additional twist to a challenge, it is important to try to get a little bit better each time. The next time you try to get better at a new business skill, attempt to do it faster. Add more unexpected variables. Do it without your notes or slides. Try harder!

The key to doing your best is to train to your best, usually under some type of self imposed or coach directed duress. Listen to this edition of the HighPer 7 podcast to learn more. Don’t forget to subscribe to HighPer 7 on iTunes (and tell a friend)!