Olympic priorities

Risk Management \ Olympics

We’ve been watching the Olympics at our house. One of our favorite disciplines to watch is gymnastics; athletes who have spent decades refining the parts of basic human movement, flexibility, and strength until it looks super-human.

In between airing events, the network introduced a segment on how gymnasts are selected to compete. The interesting part was that Olympic coaches scout talent with different priorities than universities or even professional sports teams.

The athlete with the most records and high scores doesn’t get picked.

The athlete with the most power and coordination doesn’t get picked.

The most flexible athlete doesn’t get picked.

Olympic talent scouts pick the gymnast who never falls. A fall nearly guarantees that an athlete won’t make it onto the podium. Failing here means you're out of the game, so the goal is to minimize risk.

When the stakes are high, consistency and reliability become top priorities.

The Olympics are high-stakes environment, and even if you’re not competing in Olympic gymnastics, maybe you can learn something from the fact that talent scouts prioritize consistency over everything else.


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