The Little Question That Will Make a Big Difference

There are very few things more exciting than a “photo finish.” We can’t help but hold our breath as we watch athletes cross the finish line, witnessing how close the margin was from first to second place.

I was recently reminded of one of these incredible finishes — the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. It was the men’s individual road cycling race, in which 132 cyclists from 35 countries competed. The course was a total of 120 miles long, and in the last 65 feet, spectators witnessed an incredibly dramatic finish. A mechanic from Italy pushed through all the barriers and emerged from the middle of the pack. He crossed the finish line first with a time of 4:39:51.63. The most amazing part? In second place, a cyclist from Denmark finished just two-hundredths of a second behind at 4:39:51.65.

In fact, the difference between a bronze medal and 99th place was just two-tenths of a second. One extra crank of the pedal, or one little tweak in riding stance, could have been the difference from standing on the medal podium and being one of the last racers to finish. Many times in sport, and in life in general, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference.

Many clients here at the TB12 Sports Therapy Center embody this attitude, each one doing little things that make big differences. This attitude is all about persistent improvement and positivity. Here’s a simple question you can ask yourself to begin developing this attitude:


Whatever you’re doing — working out, eating, hanging out with friends or family — ask yourself how you can be just one percent better right now, and see what happens. Let your mind focus on what you can do to improve, even if it’s just a little thing. If you follow through, it will make a big difference.

It’s all about the little things. We’ve heard this a lot, but consider why we hear this a lot. By doing the little things, we train our minds to stay focused on the process and keep a positive perspective. How much better would your next game or performance be if you focused on being just one percent better every practice, every workout, every meal, every moment?

If you’re working out, and you hit the proverbial brick wall, tell yourself to do one percent more. If you’re at practice, think about what you can do to better your technique by just one percent in the moment.

Typically, the answer to this question is different for everyone. For some, it might be to do one more rep, for others, to do another set. Whatever you do, focus on improvement and positivity. It’s not about overexertion or pushing to the point of possible injury, it’s about consistently getting better, one percent at a time.

Focus on persistent improvement. By focusing on the little things you can improve now, you’ll make a big difference in the future. Keep in mind that it’s not about focusing on the numerical side of one percent — don’t get hung up on calculating of how long it will take you to get to 100 percent. It’s not about the math and numbers, but more about a mindset shift that will help you focus on reaching sustained peak performance. It’s all about persistent improvement, no matter how small.

This little question can make a big difference.

What can you do to be one percent better right now?


To have a healthy body, you need a healthy mind. Cognitive wellness is very important to TB12, and our holistic approach to sustained peak performance in sport and overall life. For more information on how to stay positive and keep your head in the game,download the TB12 Method mobile app and check out The TB12 Method: How To Achieve A Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.


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