“Training Up” — All areas of life?

I went to see Creed 2 this past weekend. Growing up in an Italian family in the ‘burbs of Philly, seeing any Rocky movie is mandatory. Yes, most in the area think he’s a real heavy-weight champ. Creed 2 borrowed a concept from Rocky 3 & 4 — training in a more raw environment than the opponent in the comeback fight. I think this idea can have a powerful impact in many areas of life.

After being obliterated by Clubber Lang, Apollo takes Rocky to his old stomping grounds in a tough part of LA and introduces elements of sand & water (new to Rock) in the training while Clubber, as the new champ, has the best of the best. In 4, among the best movie scenes of all time in my opinion, Rocky and Drago are doing the same exercises but Rocky is battling the elements and gritty materials. Meanwhile, Drago is inside with the best technology Russia has to offer. Creed 2 follows the same idea as Young Drago gets upgraded from the toughest conditions to state-of-the-art while Young Creed goes from state-of-the-art to the toughness of the desert and street fighters as sparring partners.

It’s a movie. I get it. But as I go through a career transition and think broadly, the concept makes too much sense to ignore — train up, play down.

Shane Parrish wrote about Brazilian soccer players practicing on a condensed field to maximize “touches” in traffic — when they get out into a normal sized field, even the tightest spaces feels like an open opportunity (https://fs.blog/2012/10/velocity-of-skill-development/).

Growing up, I played on as many baseball and basketball teams that’d fit on the calendar. In AAU basketball, I was the scrappy defender who’s only jobs were to defend, get loose balls, and make late free throws. Then I’d go to Church league and score 30 — I wasn’t better, the game was easy compared to AAU.

At the 2017 annual meeting, Warren Buffett suggested “ I really think, if you want to be a good evaluator of businesses — an investor — you really ought to figure out a way, without too much personal damage, to run a lousy business for a while.”

Where else can this apply? I’m coming off 5 years on Wall Street. I certainly didn’t leave because of the competition but it’s hard to argue that it’s among the top few attractions of talent and attention. Is there a Church league I can go play in, get more fulfillment and make the impact equivalent of scoring 30?

In the past year, I’ve spent time training to dunk a basketball — is the approach to train on an 11 foot rim? detrimental conditions?

Is the best preparation for an amazing long-term relationship beginning long distance? or some other way to make it difficult in the beginning? Rendering small problems meaningless later once having gone through difficulty?(yes, I’m biased here)

I love the sport of boxing — not so much to watch nor the judging system. However, I love the training — 6+ weeks, 1 date, 1 opponent, every single second is focused on the event. Yet, the whole point of camp is to make the fight the easy part. They get paid for fight night and most often take a physical, mental and emotional pounding — but it you look at the best, fight night is among the easiest days of camp.

Where else can this concept apply?