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The 4-Step Performance Cycle

Mindset Made Simple Tip #133 - Watch or listen HERE and subscribe while you are there! See below for the Performance Cycle infographic!

I bet you’ve heard the phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” or something similar! I have, too. Many times.

I did not know it was coined by one of the great superheroes of our time…Spiderman! How did I miss that as we moved through the superhero stage in this house…when capes were worn with every outfit?

Well, Spiderman, I agree that power demands responsibility. But I am going to shuffle your sentence around a bit.

How about this?

With great response-ability comes great power!!

Now that is AWESOME!

This simple shift in Spiderman’s words (and a little adaptation to responsibility) allows us to be powerful, no matter who or where we are or what is going on around us!

Why? Because we always have a response- ability!

We talked about this a couple of weeks ago in my example of two kids who did not pass the fitness test upon returning to campus. Their responses set the tone for what happened next. And it all turned out pretty darn well for everyone!

Why is this so important to talk about again?

Let’s break down the performance cycle one more time. We start with our APPROACH. We then move on to ACTION. Our action(s) produce a RESULT. And, finally, we have a RESPONSE to that result. AARR!

It looks like this. (Want a copy? Click HERE to download it. I would love to go over it in detail with your team!).

Positive approach. Productive action. Pleasing result. Positive response. Positive approach.

Or…Positive approach. Productive action. Disappointing result. Poor response. Unhelpful approach. Non-productive action. Worse result.

Really poor response!

The only thing we do not control is the result. Ironically, that is what takes all our focus and attention. And how we respond to it sets us up for the next opportunity. Look at this cycle…

We want to control the result SO badly…and we have ourselves convinced that we do. We waste so much energy focused on whether or not we will make the play, get a hit, make the shot, or if others will approve of our performance, we have no time or energy to devote to our approach or take negative energy into it and are distracted in our action.

Guess what happens next? Yep! Our response isn’t very helpful! Because we are lamenting the fact that we did not get what we wanted…with our distracted approach that we then blame on the official, our mechanics or some other outside factor!

See where we give up our power? We didn’t manage our response-ability.

The Performance Cycle shows us that we can manage (and influence) more than we realize. We can put ourselves in a position of power any time we choose, even if we are not getting the results we want.

WE DO NOT CONTROL RESULTS. Say that louder for the people in the back! WE DO NOT CONTROL RESULTS.

Think about the summer Olympians who broke world records and came in second…to someone else who set the new world record.

They controlled their approach and their action. They did not control the result because they did not control their competitors.

I assume they were very disappointed. But if they ran the best race of their lives, I also assume this served as a justification for all of their hard work and a motivator to keep getting better.

Or they could be disappointed for life about winning a silver medal. It’s not hard to see which response will give them a better chance of winning gold in the future!

The good news is....WE MANAGE THREE OF THE FOUR COMPONENTS OF THE CYCLE! Yes…THREE of FOUR! Three out of four is a pretty good percentage!

To be clear, managing three of the four components does not guarantee the result we want. But it does give us the best shot at it!

Think about it. If your approach is good and you take appropriate action, sometimes you get the result you want, sometimes you don’t. It’s what happens next that matters. How you respond makes a HUGE difference in your next approach!

I got to spend time at practice with one of my Division I softball teams on Friday. As I observed, I was paying close attention to approaches and responses. I noted that when players made a mistake as they were running team defensive drills, they normally hoped right back in for the next ball as if nothing even happened. Their response was to move on, keep the energy going and prep for the next play.

Good response! And every time they made the next play.

My question is, can they repeat these responses next week when they face the first competition of the year or any time the pressure mounts? My guess is that this group will be pretty good at it. They think about it, plan for it and practice it. They are training their response-ability!

However, if we don’t manage our responses by thinking about how they affect our approach, if we don’t plan for or practice them, we can go off the rails, so to speak!

I like to think of our responses as keeping us on the path to success. This does not mean we don’t ever step off into the rough…it’s not that can’t get frustrated, disappointed or pissed off. I am also not suggesting that we just take everything that happens to us or around us on the chin acting as if nothing matters or nothing has gone wrong.

Of course, things will go wrong. Of course, things matter. Of course, we want things to go our way.

What it does mean is we need to understand how our responses affect what comes next…our approach to the next play! We need to note that the more time we spend off the clear path, the slower we travel!

How do we best manage our responses?

We plan for them. We rehearse them. We change the way we evaluate our effort. We find one thing from our result that can help our approach. We start to pay attention to the things that throw us off the path and adjust as many variables as possible to help keep us moving forward by changing our focus, our perspective, our pace, our timing, our routines, our thoughts or our breath.

It all sounds so simple. It’s not easy. But it is easy to see how training our response-ability is so full of POWER!

What can you do to become more powerful? As holocaust survivor and psychologist, Viktor Frankl said so many years ago, “between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom”…and power.

The Performance Cycle has a pause, even when it seems like things are moving so fast. It’s those times…when things speed up on us when pressure mounts or expectations rise where we need our response-ability needs to help us out. You’ve failed before. You know what throws you off the path. Make a plan. Train your brain to be prepared and dive into your next approach ready to act with all of your power in play!

Manage the cycle…and the moments!!


P.S. Sometimes an outside voice can help you drive your point home. I'd love to help you get your team ready for whatever is to come! Reach out to up a mental performance session to get the most out of your team’s mindset. Reach out to set up a team session today! Contact me at or call/text 234-206-0946.

Julie Jones

Mental Performance Coach

SSB Performance • 234-206-0946


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