Do you know what is roadwork? I am not talking about a Stephen King novel or people in orange helmets closing down a road to pour concrete into potholes.
I am talking about what a boxer or an MMA fighter will call “roadwork”.
How do you think a boxer or a fighter prepares for a match? I guess you are imagining them hitting a punching bag for hours. Or maybe what they show in movies – punching and ducking punches in a boxing ring again and again.
Sure they do those things. However, what they do most, is “roadwork”.
To win a modern boxing match, or even a UFC fight, more important than the strength of your punches is your cardio-vascular ability to keep moving really fast throughout all the round so that you can circle your opponent continuously, looking for weak moments or a guard being down while you avoid getting hit. The faster you are in the ring, higher is your chance of scoring more points or even a knock-out win.
So no, boxers do not spend all their time practicing punches or doing practice fights in the ring. While those are important, they spend a lot of time doing road work.
In the past, roadwork primarily consisted of running – like you may have seen Sylvester Stallone running every morning in the movie Rocky. However, over time, purely running on the road has been replaced by high-intensity interval training and anaerobic exercises. Roadwork is the boxer’s highway to win, it allows him to circle the opponent in the ring incessantly and thrown hundreds of combination punches during the fight, without losing steam.
If you want to know which boxer will win, you just need to see what is the roadwork they do.
Average boxers want to spend all their time in the ring and hate roadwork. The great boxers are forged through incredible roadwork.
Here is what the great Joe Frazier has to say:
“You can map out a fight plan or a life plan, but when the action starts, it may not go the way you planned, and you’re down to your reflexes – that means your [preparation:]. That’s where your roadwork shows. If you cheated on that in the dark of the morning, well, you’re going to get found out now, under the bright lights.”
– Joe Frazier (undisputed heavyweight world champion in professional boxing for 5 years in the 70s)
It is hard to get up to do your roadwork at 5 am when you have been sleeping in silk pajamas.
– Marvin Hagler (undisputed middleweight champion from 1980 to 1987)
It is no different in chess.
You cannot become great at chess by playing chess matches all day. You need to play some practice matches, but more time has to be spent working on specific situations. Chess champions practice thousands of chess drills. They learn and commit to memory what moves to play in thousands of situations, making them difficult to beat! They have to work on strengthening tactical decisions and positional play by playing with a computer again and again. They have to study hundreds of end games. How do they do this? While playing with other players?
Roadwork for chess is basically solving thousands of chess puzzles, for hours and hours. Reminds me of cardio training for boxers!
In case you want to be a good cricketer, can you become good by playing directly in matches? A match is not an ideal condition for practice.
You have to practice for hours in the net. If you are a batsman, you have to learn to play different deliveries and perfect different shots. You have to refine yourself even when you are already good. One stroke at a time. One delivery at a time. It is a long process. It takes massive endurance to do this without the adrenaline pumping, exciting, do-or-die situations of cricket matches.
That is road work for cricket. It involves sweat and blood. It means pushing yourself when your body is screaming in pain and wants to give up.
Roadwork is the price of greatness.
What is your roadwork?
In your line of work, what builds up that endurance and ability to win in the ring, under the spotlight?
For me, it is getting up every day and doing the work that I have to do – no matter what. Endless hours of meeting, always planning and reviewing the progress of each plan, training my team every single day to become better, and making time to learn what I do not already know. My roadwork is bouncing back after every disappointment to pursue my dream by doing the most mundane and boring work with courage and commitment. My roadwork is talking to my users every day, and being open to criticism and feedback even when I do not agree with it. My roadwork is to speak and solicit help from thousands of lawyers and being ready to hear nine no to hear one yes.
I have no doubt that I am building the greatest legal education company on the planet because my roadwork is gruelling, and my team is on it too.
What is your roadwork?
Does it involve drafting agreements and getting feedback on how to improve your drafting and negotiation skills?
Does it involve master provisions of law and practical aspects of a certain area of law?
Would you like to talk to us about what roadwork you are doing and how you can take it to the next level? Reach out to us.
Each of our courses is built on the concept of making you do the roadwork, under our guidance and supervision, so you can become a champion. Check out the weekly exercises section of these courses in which we are currently taking admission, and you will know what I am talking about:
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