Simplistic vs. Simplified


Athletics, coaching, competing, training and the like are complex endeavors. 

However, the scope of complexity is far too wide for anyone to grasp. So we create mental models and shortcuts to help us navigate the perplexing sea of influences which impact outcomes. 

Early in my coaching career, I made the sharp distinction between a Simplistic vs. Simplified approach.  

A simplistic perspective treats complex issues and problems as if they were much simpler than they really are.

A simplified treatment makes (something) simpler or easier to do or understand. 

Here's an example: 

A simplistic pedagogy of preparing distance runners for competition is to only prescribe a weekly running volume target and track only that. This is a compliance activity and misses the boat. 

A simplified plan decides what are the critical facets to an athlete's competitive betterment and crafts a training roadmap to enhance those areas. Increased running volume could be considered, so too basic foot speed, speed reserve, strength and conditioning, etc.

Getting to a space of simplified is difficult as you first have to navigate through a sea of noise. It is easy to get lost. I've done so many times over the course of my career. And, to this day, still do. That is what happens when we explore.

However, the search, application and response to the decided upon elements make the journey of discovery worth it when an athlete breaks through to a new height perviously unfathomable. And is why, despite the multiple dead ends, I keep on the quest that is coaching. 


Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus