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Posted 02/05/2024 by DAVID CHARLTON

EP 217: How A Marginal Gains Approach Can Help You Perform Better #BITESIZE

Chris Cook is a former double Olympian & Double Commonwealth Champion.  After competing for Great Britain for nearly 10 years, he hung up the trunks and retired from international swimming and began working with businesses/organisations far and wide to help inspire, mentor and coach people to embrace ‘challenge and change’ for their optimal performance. Chris has built a reputation as a motivational speaker throughout the last 7 years working from referral to referral, sharing his story and the lessons learnt from the journey with over 400,000 people. 

Chris and his wife Erica also run their own Learn to swim business – ‘Swim Buddies’ which has seen the business (located in Darlington, UK) grow from 7 swimmers in their first week in September 2014 through to over 1000 children swimming with Swim Buddies every week.

Chris’s coaching, speaking and mentoring is centred around personal development. Whether it’s in the water helping swimmers or on dry land in business and life, Chris believes that success is something you attract from the person you become.

Marginal gains is an approach that was created by Dave Brailsford with British Cycling which led to many years of success.  It’s an holistic approach where you can reflect on your habits and behaviours, looking for small 1% improvements to ensure you give yourself a better chance of success. 

In this short episode double Olympian and now, a motivational speaker and executive coach Chris Cook tells me about his experience of implementing a marginal gains approach.  The emotion associated with such innovation and the results too.

Key Learning Points:

  • How can I swim 2 lengths of the pool faster was a question Chris often asked himself with the help of a Sports Psychologist.
  • It helped him simplify his approach and question why he did what he did on a daily basis.
  • Being triggered by something often is caused by some sort of inner conflict.  Seek to explore it.

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To Listen to Relevant Episodes to Improve Your Rest and Recovery

Ep110: Dan Steele – How to Increase Mental Fortitude: Secrets from an Olympian

Ep140: Chris Cook – How to Improve Your Mental Strength: Secrets from an Olympian

Ep213: Sandro Forte – How To Set Yourself Up For Success In 2024?

Ep214: Ellen McDermott – How To Create Helpful Eating Habits To Benefit Your Sport Performance

Ep215: Fenwick Ridley – How Ice Swimming And Cold Immersion Can Help You Take Control Of Your Destiny

Other helpful resources to help you learn how to perform better

Handout: Marginal Gains Refining Your Approach

Blog: Do You Really Want to Succeed

Blog: 12 Reasons Why You Won’t Achieve Your Potential

Blog: 9 Tips for Children from Olympians



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