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Episode 188: Perceptual Reframing of Time

Video Highlights

- Perceptual reframing of time
- A second is a long time
- Milliseconds matter

Dr. Cobb:            For most athletes, what we need to do is go, we need to expand the scope of our thinking and go, how can I make you better, faster. In most cases that means not worrying so much about being speed constant and instead focus a lot on speed variables.

Speed variables revolve around these two things that we are going to talk about. Perceptual reframing and contextual speed. Perceptual reframing, does everyone know what that is? Did you? This is a question I asked myself years ago. Where did you learn about time? You guys remember back in your life, where did you learn about time?

Audience:            Mom.

Dr. Cobb:            Long ago, what’s that?

Audience:            From mom.

Dr. Cobb:            From mom. Does anyone remember going to school, and actually like having, like I don’t know, probably kindergarten, first grade, where you get the clocks and they’re like, “Okay, part of your test is draw the hands.” Do they still do that?

Audience:            Yeah.

Dr. Cobb:            They do? Okay. it’s on your cell phone right, it’s just digital. You got your four year old checking his Apple watch going, “Hey, mom. What time is it?” Most of us we were raised with a concept of time, literally from birth. Unfortunately that … You guys tell me, what is that concept of time? Everyone? We’re taught basically, so years, we will go backwards from years.

Audience:            Days.

Dr. Cobb:            Day or months. Days, weeks. Weeks, days.

Audience:            Hour.

Dr. Cobb:            Hours, and minutes, and seconds. The smallest increment of time that we are kind of taught, and expected to understand, and actually build our lives around, is seconds. Does that make sense? We are actually taught to think in terms of seconds.

Now a second is a really, really long time in the world of sports. It’s also a really long time in the world of, well in any world, in life. How many of you guys have been in a near car accident recently? Anybody? One? This morning?

Audience:            Russel’s Uber driver.

Dr. Cobb:            Russel’s Uber driver. Awesome. Uh, yeah, you were close to one or were in one?

Audience:            I was very close to one and time really slowed down.

Dr. Cobb:            She said she was close to one, time really slowed down. That’s the kind of the stuff that I’m talking about. If you, remember when you went through driver’s ed, and you’re driving along on the freeway. Apparently the rule that no one remembers, is how many seconds do you need to have the car, how far in front of you does it need to be if you’re driving 65 miles an hour? Six seconds. Right? Now everyone forgets that, right? Why do you need six seconds? Physics. All right. Because for you to see those brake lights slamming on, the hood coming, or the, not the hood, the back of the hood, the trunk, the trunk lifting up. See you actually get that perceptual cue, you’re like, “Oh crap. They just slammed on their brakes. Something ran across the road.”

You’re getting that in your head. Most of us have been driving a long time, as soon as we see those brake lights what do we do? We get off our accelerator, we get on the brakes, but if we’re texting, or playing with the radio, right? That timeframe goes down, and then you actually have to hit your brakes and then physics takes over. It takes a while for you to actually slow down this 2500 pound beast that you’re driving. That’s why so many people have to replace their cars every year, because people forget the basic rules.

The point is that, the reason I’m asking you about that. Does everyone recognize that if you’ve been in an event where probably a half second to a quarter second later in your decision making process something back could have happened? Yes or no? All right.

One of the first things that we have to start to get across to our athletes is that any single thing that we can do in training that saves you a millisecond or two can make an enormous difference in your ultimate outcome. Everyone gets that. It’s weird because we’re not actually, most of us aren’t trained to think in seconds.

Click, click, click, click. Getting people to move faster than that, to think faster than that and to recognize that if I can see faster, decide faster, that allows me to act faster.

Milliseconds matter.

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