Don’t Wait – To Improve your skills Just Do It!

The best way to improve your skills is summarised nicely by Nike. Their tag line of Just Do It encapsulates some of the most valuable advice that a coach can give a client. It can be very easy to fall into a trap of waiting to ensure that every detail is understood before taking action. The advice of “Just Do it” is advice I’ve given to my sales and public speaking clients many times over. I’m guilty of not always following my own advice.


Towards the end of last summer I got heavily into Body boarding. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to master. I was sick of going to the beach with my body board and constantly missing waves. So, my wife bought me some coaching lessons with Lily Pollard (The Bodyboard Academy) for Christmas. Lily is a six times body boarding world champion – and she knows her stuff in the water!!


I did a number of coaching sessions with Lily and got quite proficient in the water. One of the things Lily encouraged during our sessions was to always get out in the water – regardless of the conditions. The waves don’t need to perfect to have fun.


With the approaching cooler weather I invested in a wet suit so that I could comfortably get into the water during winter. Then, in my opinion, I made my biggest mistake – I downloaded some surf cam apps on my phone so I could review the surf reports without leaving the house.


Since getting the wetsuit and downloading the apps, and with the best intentions of getting into the water on a regular basis to improve my skills  I’ve been on my board just once!




So much for improving my skills…


I’ve relied upon the surf app’s to tell me if it the waves were worth heading to the beach for. When your time is limited it seems like a good idea. But the reality is the best judge of if the waves were suitable for me – is me! This was starkly illustrated on Monday when I went to Cronulla for a walk (without my wetsuit and board). The apps said the waves were poor. They were right, they weren’t great, but there were a few rideable waves.


My intent of getting practised over winter has taken a hit because I didn’t follow the Nike motto of “Just do it!”. I’ve been waiting for the perfect waves at the perfect time. The best wave to catch is the next one available – you’ll learn something and become a better body boarder in the process.


Whether you want to improve your sales skills, or you want to develop your public speaking skills so that you can influence your boss, like body boarding they are “contact” activities. You need to do them to make mistakes and learn. Don’t wait until you are fully prepared to make a sales call, or delay a presentation until you’ve had more time to prepare. Learn and adjust with the lessons learnt from the attempt.

My bodyboarding skills have not developed over winter. But that changes today. I’ll be in the water later to recommence the process of becoming a better boarder!


P.s. Lily, I’ll be calling to get some more lessons booked in. 🙂

About The Author

Mark Kyte

Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.