IDEATE: Generating Ideas
So, at this point, I decided after two years with the Olympic team I was going to quit, the team, not the sport. So, I left. I packed up and I left the Olympic Training Center. Nobody wanted this to happen. The coaches came out of the woodwork, parents were calling me, "What are you doing? "Why are you quitting? "Why are you going on your own? "Why are you the rebel? "Why are you the non-team player?" That one really hurt, actually. But I ignored all of that because it just wasn't working. I was 12th in the world, two years later and here, I'm 30th in the country. Something was wrong and I kept hearing Mike Walden's voice in my head, "Raise your strengths". That's what, I need to do what I'm good at. And they don't want me to do that so I'm just not going to do it with them. So, I moved to Milwaukee and I started training on my own. They gave me ice in the morning and I showed up every day and I started tinkering with, using designed thinking, to think about, alright, if the central qu...
estion for me isn't how do I fix my weaknesses, maybe a better one is how do I design for my strengths? And specifically the question they gave me is how can you go farther, faster? Which seemed like a great question to solve for. Work harder, last longer, makes sense. I decided alright, that's not the question for me. What I'm going to try to do is go less far, less fast. If I can go 10% less far, I could go 9% less fast and still win. Now how is that possible, you might wonder. Well, I'll share that with you in a minute. We skate a certain way of track that was expending extra energy to deal with the physics but first we have to share a couple statistics about the sport and then I'm going to teach you all to speed skate. So, are you up for that? Okay, great. So, here's some stats from my sport. This is from the 2002 Games, it's not mine but I show it to you for a reason. Look at the difference between the gold medal and the silver medal after a lifetime of training. Two one-hundredths of a second. Take a look at the difference between the gold medal and 10th place. So, the difference between a gold medal and a hero's welcome or being sent back to Siberia for four more years because you got 10th place in the Winter Olympics, was the difference between these two claps. (clapping twice) A third of a second. Ten people in that space after a lifetime of training. So, small improvements can really lead to great things.