I hope I have your attention. And no I am not bad a math. I was actually quite good at it in school.

“The 80/20 principle asserts that a minority of the causes, inputs, or effort usually lead to a majority of the results, outputs, or rewards.” Richard Koch.

This principle is over 100 years old and was discovered by Vilfredo Pareto.  Typically this principle is used in business, but many other occupations and individuals are finding the principle to be quite valuable in their own careers and lives.

So how does it relate to us in synchro.  If you are the Head Coach of a club you know that 20% of the parents in the club take up 80% of your time or that 20% of your membership pays 80% of the club fees.

For daily practice you probably have discovered that some drills work better than others, some stretches work better than others, . . . Not all things in practice are created equal.

In fact over time the drills that were effective no longer serve their purpose.

The 80/20 principle is all about being highly effective and finding out what your 80/20 is.

I have been providing lesson plans to two swimmers over the summer and our mission has been to find the most effective parts of practice.  They do not have too much time to train so we need to continually find the best drills, the best stretches, the best workouts and then work at eliminating the time wasters.

“Your training and lesson plans should have a high rate of return.”

Who wants to train 6-8 hours a day.  That does not seem very effective or efficient for that matter.

To be clear the math will not always be 20% of the effort equals 80% of the results.  Like the quote above from Koch  says, minority=majority.

So for your next practice, plan as usual with the exception that at this practice you are noticing what drills seem to work really well for you team.  Find the best of the best from your practice.

This exercise may take a week or more for you to find those gems you are seeking.  After you think you have found the best of the best, implement them into practice consistently over the next 2-3 weeks. The next step is crucial.  You need to monitor the results to make sure you are in fact uncovering your 80/20.   Then ask yourself if you still feel you have the best of the best?  Perhaps you even found better ideas with higher rates of return.

What’s your 80/20?

If you want a more in depth study of this principle I highly suggest you read. ” The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less” by Richard Koch.


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