Recently, via twitter, I asked Detroit Lions Lawrence Jackson about what he looks for when viewing film of past games and practices. 

Here is his response.

LoJackson94 Lawrence Jackson @ @bytor99999 I noticed I'm more likely to make a play when im not late off the ball...15 Jun »

LoJackson94 Lawrence Jackson @ @bytor99999 footwork-hand placement-get off-explosiveness-execution-fight-efficiency but I check to see if I would do anything different…

And it reminded me of a basic theory I have regarding what makes a person perform at their peak. There are people out there that have amazing talents that can do incredible things. 

But what allows them to have those moments of incredible feats.

I believe that true talent just shows up. And if someone with talent forcefully tries to use those talents, that is when they get in their own way. I believe that it really comes down to fundamentals and by concentrating on one or two fundamentals at a time, that is when the talent just shows up and happens.

So in Lawrence Jackson's post about being able to "not be late off the ball". I believe that if he concentrates on just one or two of the fundamentals to see when the ball is snapped, he will consistently move at just the right moment and be in better position to make that play. His talents will be there without him needing to concentrate or force them.

Using Kobe Bryant as an example. Do you think in the fourth quarter of a game that he is thinking about his talents and how to make them show up, or is he in the "zone". For him to get in that zone, he has practiced over and over again the fundamentals, so that they become ingrained, just like his natural talents, so he doesn't even have to think about the fundamentals.

This theory can be applied anywhere. I am a software developer, and I believe that my best code is written, not when I try to be tricky, or be too smart, or be talented, but when I concentrate on a couple of fundamentals. I focus on writing very little code to get the job done, focus on clean code that will be easier to maintain later, by myself or someone else. I focus on good naming conventions and design patterns. Little by little it becomes a well running application. But if I try to concentrate on everything at once, force my brain to be extra smart, my code will become unmanageable, unmaintainable and difficult to change later. What do you guys think?

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