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Calli's Corner: A postseason pep talk

This biweekly column features life lessons and fresh perspectives on local sports from The Sports Report’s Calli Newberry.

I was walking on the treadmill the other day and noticed something rather frustrating.

When I increased my speed from 3.7 miles per hour to 3.8, my pace improved from 16 minutes, 12 seconds per mile to a 15:47 mile – that’s nearly 30 seconds!

I never remembered seeing that drastic of a change in pace when I was running, so as a test, I sped up to a 7.9 MPH jog. My pace was a 7:35, yet when I increased by another 0.1 MPH to 8.0, my pace only improved to a 7:30 – a mere five seconds.

While walking, 0.1 MPH makes a 30-second difference in pace, but while running, that same increase only makes a five-second difference.

Why is it that when we get better, our improvements get smaller?

I’m sure there’s an actual scientific or mathamatic reason for this when it comes to running, but I’m more intrigued by the application of this idea off of the treadmill.

I suppose this is a fact of life. The first 10 pounds is always easier to lose than the last five. Earning a personal best in a 5K at 25 minutes is easier than at 20 minutes. Improving from a 90-pound bench press to 100 pounds is easier than 120 to 125 pounds. And I’m sure people way stronger than me would say going from 190 to 200 pounds is easier than 200 to 205 pounds.

My point: the better we get, the harder it becomes to get better.

We’re at the point in the fall sports season where if a team loses, the season’s over, and it gets harder and harder as the selection of teams gets smaller and smaller.

If you’re an athlete, I assume you’re competitive and you don’t want your season to end, and I’d hope that makes you more willing to do whatever it takes to keep going. And at this point in your season or in your career, it might take a little bit extra.

They say if you always do what you’ve always done, you’re going to always get what you’ve always gotten. Well, if you’re on a team that’s never won a regional or a district or even a single postseason game, it might be time to ask: What are you willing to change to give you and your teammates the best opportunity to achieve something different this season?

It might mean staying 15 minutes after practice to do extra stretching or mobility work so you’re ready to go the next day.

It could mean shutting your phone off 30 minutes before you’re ready for bed to ensure a better night’s sleep.

Or maybe it means reaching out to a teammate you don’t always talk to, but who you think could use a bit of encouragement.

Whatever you think it might look like in your life, on your team, I’d encourage you to actually put it into action. No matter the outcome, you won’t regret doing everything you can to be your best.


For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli

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