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Understand the 70/20/10 rule as applied by the Liminal Collective human performance community

This is an excerpt from Conditioning for Esports by Taylor Johnson,Joanne DiFrancisco-Donoghue & Jerry Balentine.

By Taylor Johnson

I love the concept of the 70/20/10 rule as applied by the Liminal Collective human performance community:

  • 70 percent of what you program will be based on first principles that are fundamentals and evidence based.
  • 20 percent of your program will be individualized, edging to find competitive advantages that are more experience based.
  • 10 percent of your program may be far out there, where you are tinkering and trying to reimagine what is possible with training and recovery, which may end up becoming evidence based in the future. The goal is to think big and be bold but do no harm.

The 70/20/10 rule gives us a model of where to place most of our efforts in building a program as well as trying new modalities and even reimagining what is possible to gain a competitive advantage. I found this to be successful while working in traditional sports, even at the professional levels.

First, 70 percent are first principles—strategies and tactics that are evidence based and proven in the research. These things are foundational to improving performance: addressing lifestyle, culture, psychology, and mental strategies; nutrition, exercise, and injury prevention; and recovery. It really comes down to education, motivation, and consistent execution. In esports, as with other cognitive performances, these are fundamentals that need to be applied. Anything beyond those specifics is outside of the first principles and needs to be explored and defined.

Twenty percent of a program is made up of newer ideas; some of these ideas are evidence based but also experience based. This is where coaches, teams, and players are looking for competitive advantages. The key is to make sure that the 70 percent (lifestyle, culture, mental strategies, nutrition, exercise, injury prevention, and recovery) are in place. Over time, what is explored in the 20 percent may become first principles, but for now they are still individualized and not fully proven to work for everyone.

The last 10 percent is imagining what is going to be possible in 5 to 10 years. One of my mentors would always say to me, “See what everyone else is doing and do the opposite.” The key here is not to put anyone’s health at risk and to make sure that the foundation of the first 70 percent of programming is in place and that the last 30 percent is individualized.

This is where I think the most exciting work expanding research in neuroscience will come in. There is so much to discover about the brain and nervous system, and we are at a tipping point where this type of research is beginning to flourish.

There are groups that are playing on the upper edges of the 10 percent. The Liminal Collective is one group that is pioneering that way of thinking. They are asking questions like: What does the future of human performance and potential look like, and what will be required to train to be the best in the world?

Aimlabs is another company that is a pioneer in esport performance and training. It uses psychometrics for assessment and training to explore specific areas of perception, cognition, and motor skills as they relate to speed, precision, accuracy, and reaction time in FPS games and beyond.

More Excerpts From Conditioning for Esports

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