Blog By Dr John Cronin

First up, the thoughts I am about to share are not mine but shared to me by a friend, @josephdolcetti

I share these thoughts with you as I have found myself talk about the following content on many occasions and so the subject area obviously resonates with me and others.

Our conversations were about how do we make great athletes? What are the important things that we need to put in place and or teach them as coaches and trainers?

The “C” in CIA stands for consistency and should be 75% of our focus and what we guide and ingrain in our athletes initially.

For example, they need to be consistent about:

~ sleep habits
~ nutrition for training, recovery, competition, adaptation
~ mental can include reflection, planning, goal setting

Training consistency refers to:

~ being punctual and prepared for training
~ understanding all facets of all trainings, from warm-up to warm-down and can perform them independently
~ implements post-training and post-match recovery strategies independently

Whether the percentages are correct, whether there are other factors more important, is for you to decide, but I certainly see the merits of consistency in the development of our athletes.


Some awesome thoughts for the “I” in CIA. Initiative. Individuality. Impact. Intelligence.

Not wrong but not what @josephdolcetti and I were thinking. As previously mentioned, the basic building block for making better athletes was in-graining consistency and this contributed 75% to this goal. Once we have this foundation we can start layering intensity into what they do, and this should comprise another 20% of what our focus for our athletes should be. This intensity can take many forms but usually starts with a mental focus (planning and/or goal setting), whether it be for a weight training session or a team run and manifests itself as a very targeted and time efficient way of getting a lot done.

Intensity in a gym session may look like tri-sets followed by proprioception work in your rest periods or placing players under pressure whilst fatigued during focused team trainings, simulating game demands. It is up to you what intensity looks like specific to your sport, but athletes will benefit from bringing intensity (mental and physical) to what they do.


Consistency and intensity comprised 95% of one formula to make better athletes. The “A” in CIA stands for attention to detail and should comprise the remaining 5% of their/our focus. For many sports this attention to detail can take many forms. We can look for the latest widget, or innovative technology, to help us win. These typically are what some call the “one percenters.”

For some athletes/programs these are important, but for many others we need to pay better attention to the big boulders that drive performance first, consistency and intensity for example. We have an amazing propensity to over-complicate things and really if we paid attention at doing some simple things well, in many situations, we would be a lot more successful. I have always liked the KIS principle.

So, in sum CIA is one formula that can help us make better athletes. The take home message for me, is let’s get the basics right and then understand and pay attention to how the “one percenters” can improve performance.

So, consistency and intensity equal 95% of making better athletes. What’s left? A!



Professor John Cronin

Educator, Researcher and Trainer.

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