Model Performers and the 4 Factors

So what does an ‘almost perfect and flawless’ performance look like in each factor? Let’s begin by looking at Physical Fitness.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Australian Open Final 2012. Nadal vs Djokovic. Match length: 5:53hrs.

A Model Performer within the Physical Fitness factor will be able to demonstrate high fitness levels across all components. These high fitness levels would be evidenced in scores in the ‘Excellent’ NORMS category for each Standardised Test and within practical performance. Such levels of fitness will enable them to be successful in their performance and help them across other factors as they maintain their focus and make effective decisions.

Consider Novak Djokovic in the video above.
Two days before this match, Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in 4 hours and 50 minutes and had little time to rest and recover for this final. The final itself last just under 6 hours – over 10 hours of maximal physical exertion within 48 hours. The sport of tennis also requires every single fitness component. Watch the video above to see how being highly fit in each of them aided Djokovic’s performance and consider how he demonstrated excellence in each of the following:

CRE. AGILITY. MUSCULAR ENDURANCE. SPEED ENDURANCE. POWER.

Points to ponder:Consider how your fitness levels would compare?How would making these comparisons help you?Or would you, perhaps, need to compare yourself to a different level of Model Performer? If yes, why?
PHYSICAL SKILL

NBA: Lakers vs Jazz 2016. Kobe Bryant. 60 Point Performance.
A Model Performer within the Physical Skills factor will be able to execute skills almost effortlessly and fault-free. This would not just be applicable to 1 skill but rather a wide Skill Repertoire wherein Consistency is present within each skill/technique. Moreover, whilst executing these skills/techniques, there would be evidence of Creativity whilst under pressure to create space to produce an ‘end product’. These Model Performers, such as Kobe Bryant, Lionel Messi and Serena Williams, are who we would focus upon when creating a Focused Observation Schedule because they can consistently execute sub-routines without expending much energy.
Consider Kobe Bryant in the video above.In this match he scored over 60 points alone, but look at the range of baskets he scored; they were not all 3 pointers from the same side or angle from the basket. Instead there was a range of different shots both when in space and under close pressure from an opponent. Also consider how Bryant dealt with these pressurised situations through being Creative and dribbling with either hand whilst faking in either direction. At the end of each fake, there was an ‘end product’ – a basket scoring opportunity for himself or a teammate. Therefore, watch the video and consider:

SKILL CONSISTENCY. SKILL REPERTOIRE. CREATIVITY.
Points to ponder:How would your performance compare across the 3 sub-factors?How would making these comparisons help you?If Bryant was too high a Model Performer, who would you select instead? Why change? And why that person?
Q) Evaluate your Physical strengths and limitations in comparison to a Model Performer. (4).

‘I share some strengths and weaknesses in relation to a Physical Model Performer.’

‘One strength I have is my CRE because in my Performance Profiling Wheel both I and my Model Performer scored 10/10. This meant that like my Model Performer, both of us managed to last the whole game without tiring. This lead to us both continuing to maintain a high skill level as we were fresh enough to continue focusing on our sub-routines.’

‘Another strength I have is my Reaction Time because in my PPW I scored 9/10 and my Model Performer scored 10/10. This meant that both of us were first to react to loose balls and quickly regain possession for our sides as we beat our opponents to the ball. This lead to us restarting new attacks.’

‘However, a weakness of mine is my Agility because in my PPW I scored 2/10 whilst my Model Performer scored 10/10. This meant that unlike my Model Performer, I was unable to change direction quickly whilst retaining my balance. This meant when the opponent I was marking changed direction, I was unable to stay with them and they were able to drive into space away from me.’

‘Another weakness of mine is my Power because in my PPW I scored 3/10 whilst my Model Performer scored 10/10. This meant that unlike my Model Performer, I was unable to get any power from my legs when jumping and not gaining enough height. This lead to my opponent jumping higher than me and winning the tip-off.’

SOCIAL

A Model Performer within the Social factor will always put the team goals before their own personal goals. In invasion games, such as basketball and football, a team player will put their ego to the side and be a fully co-operative member of the squad who supports and encourages others. They are also seen as role models who exhibit fair play and act accordingly outside of the sporting environment.

Lionel Messi: role model and example of fair play.
In the video above, Lionel Messi always plays within ‘the spirit of the game’ and never results to cheating officials or opponents. Despite the fact that he is constantly kicked, he never feigns injury or dives to gain a sporting advantage (penalty). As a SOCIAL Model Performer, Messi is a role model to children all over the world, not just because of his skill set, but also because of the way he carries himself on the pitch; he is not arrogant or egotistical and this is highlighted in the clip below.

Cordoba vs FC Barcelona 2015. Lionel Messi. Team player.

They may demonstrate this co-operation like Lionel Messi in the video above by helping a team mate who was going through a bad spell by giving them a chance to score ahead of themselves despite the fact he had a personal goal to achieve (Pichichi – ‘top goalscorer’). Another similar co-operative example would be that they always encourage their team mates and do not criticise them, even if they miss an easy goalscoring opportunity in order to keep the team spirit harmonious.
Or a different example is that they may co-operate by covering a team mate who is out of position and filling their zone to keep the team’s defensive shape. Lionel Messi has again done this numerous times to cover a central midfielder who was out of position.


FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid 2014. Lionel Messi alerting team mates to a set play routine.
Messi has also proved to be an effective communicator and has often used non-verbal signals to alert team mates to a set play routine they have practiced on the training ground or to point out a run he is making behind the defender to alert his team mates on where to pass. They can also communicate verbally to alert a team mate that they have a ‘man on’ and to release the ball.

Real Madrid 2 – 6 FC Barcelona 2009. Messi as a false 9 with minimal instructions
Moreover, a Model Performer within the Social factor will be able to fulfil their role and responsibility with minimal instructions. Lionel Messi re-introduced the ‘False 9’ position to football in 2009 and played it almost perfectly (he scored another 14 goals in 2 months) despite never playing it before.
This can be translated to man to man marking which we focused on in basketball – the model performer would be efficient in every aspect of the Game Analysis method of data collection.

Having watched the video’s, consider: ROLE MODEL. FAIR PLAY. CO-OPERATION. COMMUNICATION. ROLE & RESPONSIBILITIES.

Points to ponder:
How would you compare yourself to Lionel Messi in the above sub-factors?
Why would Lionel Messi be an appropriate Model Performer for this factor?

Q) Evaluate your Social strengths and limitations in relation to a Model Performer. (4).

‘I share some strengths and limitations with a Social Model Performer.’

‘One strength of mine is my Co-operation as like my Model Performer, I scored 10/10 in the PPW. This meant that when training, I am capable of working with a teammate of mine to provide them with feeds for their spikes and give them feedback after each shot. This lead to them improving their performance with the aid of my feedback.’

‘Another strength of mine is my Team Dynamics as like my Model Performers, I scored 10/10 in the PPW. This meant that both of us would encourage and support our teammates after they missed an easy chance rather than criticise them. This lead to their confidence and resilience staying high as they felt encouraged by my support.’

‘However, a limitation of mine is my Communication as unlike my Model Performer, I scored 2/10 whilst they scored 10/10. This meant that I did not call loudly for the ball as it came over the net. This lead to two of us going for the same ball, colliding and hitting an inaccurate dig out of the court.’

‘Another limitation of mine is my Etiquette as unlike my Model Performer, I scored 4/10 whilst they scored 10/10. This meant that I did not apologise when my shot clipped the top of the net to deceive the opponent and bounce in in a different area of the court. This lead to the opposition getting angry at me and our game being played in an unsportsmanlike manner.’



EMOTIONAL

A Model Performer within the Emotional factor will always be able to stay in complete control of their emotions across a host of intimidating and pressurised situations. Consider Gareth Bale.

FC Barcelona 1 – 2 Real Madrid 2014. Gareth Bale using anger for motivation and determination.
In the images above, Gareth Bale was criticised by the world media and teammates following his move to Real Madrid. Despite feeling angry, he channelled this anger into proving people wrong; he used it for motivation and determination to improve. He therefore trained hard and gave his all in matches to fulfil his role and responsibilities for the team. This channelling of anger into motivation and determination helped him in big moments to prove people wrong. In the video above, he was extremely determined to get past the defender despite clearly being fouled. He channelled his anger into focusing on getting to the ball, not giving up and scoring the winner in a match defining moment. Not only did he score the winner here, he also scored the winner in the Champions League final 2 months later.Another example of how Bale controls his anger is through looking at his disciplinary record – he has never been sent off before. As an EMOTIONAL Model Performer he remains calm despite being provoked by opponents – he does not retaliate by kicking back or by shouting at the referee if a foul is not awarded. Bale remains focused on his game and does not needlessly get sent off.A final way an EMOTIONAL Model Performer can control their anger is to use it effectively when executing a skill. Gareth Bale has often done this when taking a free kick. After being fouled, he has controlled his aggression into the shot which has resulted in him achieving both power and accuracy to score. You may have controlled your aggression into performing effective and strong tackles in football or rugby.

Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid 2016. Champions League Final Shootout. Bale (2mins 50secs)

Gareth Bale discusses nerves before penalty in Champions League final.
In the first video above, Gareth Bale stood up fifth (out of both teams) to take a penalty in the Champions League final after everyone had scored before him. As an EMOTIONAL Model Performer, he managed fears that others would experience – fear of failure and embarrassment. Consequently, the Model Performer can block out any Cognitive Anxiety and remain calm, composed and confident. This can help them remain focused on their sub-routines of executing the shot and commit to following through in their decision of where they are going to place the ball. Gareth Bale confirmed this in his interview where he admitted to feeling confident and blocking out his fears and cognitive anxieties. Moreover, the Model Performer can also control their Somatic Anxiety. Whilst others may tighten up due to fear, Bale’s body will remain loose which can help him move fluidly and execute skills smoothly and accurately despite being under pressure.

Having watched the video’s, consider: CONTROLLING ANGER. CONTROLLING FEAR/ANXIETY.

Points to ponder:
How would you compare yourself to Gareth Bale in the above sub-factors?
Why would Gareth Bale be an appropriate Model Performer for this factor?

Q) Evaluate your Emotional strengths and limitations in relation to a Model Performer. (4).

‘I share some strengths and limitations with a Emotional Model Performer.’
‘One strength of mine is my ability to control my fears as like my Model Performer, I scored 10/10 for this in my PPW. This meant that both of us were able to block our negative thoughts and think positively before the start of games. This lead to us feeling confident at the start of matches and being creative when taking on our men who were not able to predict our next moves and not tackle us. This was also good because I was also able to stop my muscles from tensing up during high pressure moments. This meant that when going to take a free throw to win the game, my muscles stayed relaxed and my arm moved freely as I threw an accurate shot into the basket.’

‘However, a limitation of mine is my ability to control my anger as unlike my Model Performer, I scored 2/10 whilst they scored 10/10 in the PPW. This lead to me getting angry when the referee made a decision I disagreed with and me shouting and swearing at them. This meant I got sent off and my teammates got tired quickly as they had to cover the space I left and losing late on. It was also poor because I was unable to keep calm when my teammate made a misplaced pass. This lead to me shouting at them and our Team Dynamics dropping as we focused on arguing with each other rather than our role and responsibilities.’


MENTAL

A Model Performer within the Mental factor will show high levels of Mental Toughness in a number of different ways. This might be when training during the off-season to develop fitness levels or during difficult and pressurised moments in matches. Consider how Mentally Tough Andy Murray was in that last game of the Wimbledon final in 2013.

Murray vs Djokovic 2013. Wimbledon Final. Mental Toughness.
Firstly consider the context of the above video before considering how a Model Performer would demonstrate high levels of Mental Toughness: no male British tennis player had won Wimbledon for 77 years. Murray was now serving for the set and gained 3 Championship Points before being dragged back.The MENTAL Model Performer will be able to cope well with pressure from the crowd, media and their own expectations. In coping with this, they will remain focused on their tactical game plan, sub-routine execution and block out any fears or anxieties. This composure will help them move freely and execute their skills accurately.Also, during tough moments, they will remain confident in their own ability to see it through. Even if they are behind in a match, their confidence and determination to succeed will be so high that they will fight for every point/loose ball to come back and be successful. This desire to win can not only aid their own performance, but also place pressure on their direct opponent. Andy Murray ‘blew’ 3 Championship Points and went through successive deuces, but he remained confident and focused to continue executing his game plan as before in the belief that he will ‘get through it’.A Model Performer can also demonstrate high levels of Mental Toughness during physically demanding pre-season training. Despite not being at their fittest, they will keep pushing themselves when they are struggling to complete tasks. Andy Murray often trains 3 times a day in sweltering temperatures in Florida to develop his fitness levels for the season. Even though he struggles with the demands of the tasks and the temperatures, he keeps his fitness goals in sight to motivate him to finish training drills. Model Performers therefore do not give up in tough training situations.
A MENTAL Model Performer will also be able to constantly make effective Decisions. If you think of Andy Murray, he may identify an opponents weakness being their backhand and will therefore decide to play shots to their backhand side to place them under pressure. Or Murray has often decided to play drop shots when in the middle of a back court rally due to the space left at the front of the court (see video below). Model Performers make these decisions based on their ability to read the game being played around them to inform them on a course of action to take.

Murray vs Berdych 2014. Effective decision making.
Also, a MENTAL Model Performer will have excellent concentration levels; they will be capable of focusing on the task at hand whilst blocking out all irrelevant distractions. When serving, Andy Murray has to be able to block all irrelevant distractions such as the current score, the crowd and any negative consequences of a poor serve. He has to focus solely on his serve and any relatable information. A Model Performer would therefore be concentrating on the sub-routines needed for an effective serve, his opponents weak side, the direction of his serve, the spin he will put on the ball and the speed at which he will serve. All of these components would be under his focus whilst the above distractions blocked out so Murray can achieve immediate success.

GB vs Spain. Davis Cup 2011. Murray concentrating on serve.
Having watched Andy Murray, can you consider the following sub-factors in your sport:
MENTAL TOUGHNESS. DECISION MAKING. CONCENTRATION.
Points to ponder:
How would you compare yourself to Andy Murray in the above sub-factors?
Why would Andy Murray be an appropriate Model Performer for this factor?

Q) Evaluate your Mental strengths and limitations in relation to a Model Performer. (4).

‘I share some strengths and limitations with a Mental Model Performer.’

‘One strength of mine is my Decision Making as like my Model Performer, I scored 10/10 in the PPW. This meant that both of us were capable of making good decisions when in a 2vs1 situation as we passed the ball to our teammate in a better goalscoring position to us who went on to score.’

‘Another strength of mine is my Motivation as like my Model Performer, I scored 10/10 in the PPW. This meant that I gave my all in both training and games as I had a great desire to be successful. This lead to me fulfilling my role and responsibilities successfully to help contribute to my teams success as I got the better of my direct opponent.’

‘However, a limitation of mine is my Concentration as unlike my Model Performer, I scored 2/10 whilst they scored 10/10 in the PPW. This meant that when using the man to man marking tactic, I got distracted by those moving around me and stopped focusing on my man. This lead to them getting into space and having time and space to receive a pass then score.’

‘Another limitation of mine is my Resilience as unlike my Model Performer, I scored 1/10 whilst they scored 10/10 in the PPW. This meant that when I made a mistake, I was unable to move on and bounce back. This lead to me feeling down and playing within myself as I was scared of making future mistakes and therefore lowering the effectiveness of my performance.’

LEARNING CHECKLIST
Can you now
1) Evaluate your strengths and limitations in relation to a Model Performer in each of the 4 factors? HELP: EVALUATE QUESTIONS.

NEXT STEPS:
Now that we know what a Model Performer looks like in each factor, we can switch our attention to some of the LIMITATIONS OF MODEL PERFORMERS.