"I fear not the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times." Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was an icon, a well-respected martial artist and a clever guy. His quotes and quotes that he has adapted from other sources still live strong to this day.
There is a lot of wisdom in this quote.
The question that is the title of this article is "Improve Your Strengths Or Minimise Your Weaknesses?". I hear this question asked quite a lot or implied in many conversations in coaching and sports improvement circles.
There are some people who swear by sticking to their strengths and making the most out of them.
There are others who work as hard as they can to be as well-rounded as possible.
This Bruce Lee quote is indicative of that first type of thinking - make your strengths stronger.
If you get caught by that well-rehearsed kick, you would probably know about it! But if you knew you were fighting somebody with one strong move, you would account for that in your tactics. We see it in the mixed martial arts now. Strikers (fighters who specialise in punching and kicking) who don't know what to do when somebody takes them to the ground and wrestles with them.
That sharpened kick don't mean shit down there.
10,000 rounds of that one kick don't look so good now.
But wait...neither does the alternative.
Bruce knew that an opponent who had practised all the kicks under the sun just one time each wouldn't pack any serious power. Jack of all trades, master of none.
So which is it? Strengthen the strengths or bring up the weaknesses?
I was going to say both but a more accurate answer is that it depends.
If you have a gaping hole in your skills or attributes that causes you problems in your sport, you should probably give that some attention.
If you're a decent all-rounder, try flipping the script and bringing up one important aspect of your game. When you do this, think about which will give you most bang for your buck. Not all skills and attributes are equal in any sport.
Really, we want to be working on both regularly with different emphasis attached to each depending on your current needs.
The odds (in my opinion) are that whether you have predominantly specialised or generalised to this point, you will be most comfortable doing whatever it is you have became accustomed to doing.
Honestly look at yourself. Have others you respect give you feedback on what you would be best served to work on. These will help shake you out of your comfort a little and begin improving at a faster rate.
I'm identifying these things in myself. Doing so will pay dividends. It probably will for you too.
Arton "Specialist/Jack of all Trades/Whatever I must be" Baleci
Float Sting - Sports Performance and Rehab
P.S. I'm using Bruce Lee's quote here as an example to think around. I don't believe for a second that Bruce Lee didn't think about the nuances that I'm speaking about. He did after all create a revolutionary martial arts school based around having "the way of no way". He understood this better than many. He, like everybody whose thoughts are captured on video or in writing, can have their ideas taken out of context and used too simplistically at times.