Key Performance Indicator (aka the “KPI”) is the terminology here at Altis given to a specific cue or physical move which, when accomplished, has profound effects on the overall performance. For example, the second to last step in any jumping event, also known as the penultimate step, has the most profound effect on whether or not the take-off will be powerful, explosive, and successful. So for many jumpers who struggle with efficiently taking off the ground, a proper penultimate step becomes a KPI to focus on. The key performance indicators given to each athlete may change session to session, week to week, year to year, depending on what part of the overall performance needs improvement. While the coach finds and communicates the KPI which will cause the greatest improvement, the athlete is responsible for implementing the change. As the athlete matures the KPI’s move from general to more specific in nature, but even the most mature well-versed athlete will come across days or weeks in which foundational KPI’s need to be readdressed.

Key Performance Indicators have the ability to be powerful tools. When the picture is too broad in the athlete’s mind it can be hard to make effectual change. At the same time an athlete can become hyper-focused on the cues and movements that don’t actually do much to improve functioning. By identifying the proper KPI both the coach and the athlete have the ability to affect change in the overall performance. It has taken me a bit of time to truly understand what a KPI is, or at least how it works. It’s really a triad effect. Not only does the coach need the ability to identify the most essential KPI’s, the athlete needs the ability to understand and the willingness to perform those same KPI’s. If any one of those three elements go missing the KPI becomes ineffective.

Tuesday was a day where all three elements were firing. My coach identified a specific movement he wanted me to cue and not only did that movement click in my head, I found myself in a place willing to put the effort in to execute. And you know what happened?? I had an incredibly successful vault session!

Here at Altis I have coaches who are especially gifted at identifying paramount KPI’s. So more often than not when a performance breakdown occurs it can be found in one of the latter two areas, either my understanding of what’s being said or my willingness to implement. And even within those two areas I would say 75% of the time the breakdown occurs in my willingness to do…

Outside the realm of pole vault, I’ve been reading a book called “Just Do Something” by Kevin Deyoung. It’s a quick read that get’s straight to the point; we as Christians are called to do something. He has a point blank approach to hearing from and following the will of God. As I am sitting here thinking about the KPI approach to performance I can’t help but imagine God sitting in heaven as our coach. He’s watching our walk and He knows what is going to make it more effective. He can see the overall picture and He sees the points of breakdown. Through His Word, and through His voice, He is pointing out our key performance indicator(s) for the day, or week, or season… If I asked you right now where in your life the Lord has identified an area that needs change, I bet you could answer without hesitation. We know our KPI. And for most of us we’ve spent enough time in the Word and talking with our friends over coffee that we understand the purpose and process needed to address the KPI. But we are still not seeing any effectual change in our faith… Why is this?? Because in the triad effect we are experiencing breakdown due to our unwillingness to implement!

In pole vault the unwillingness to implement stems from one of two reasons: either I fear the implementation or I believe that another KPI is more important than the one my coach is telling me to do. Looking at your faith do either of those reason strike a cord within you? Are you afraid to carry out what God is calling of you? Or do you, like me, think you know better than God and are trying to focus on every KPI besides the one He is giving you at this very moment?? The funny thing is that actually performing the cue my coach is giving me usually makes the entire jump easier and less scary! AND I have yet to come across a time where the primary KPI from my point of view was actually of more importance than the one my coach was giving me! In fact, when accomplished, the KPI given by my coach usually fixes the “smaller” problem my eyes were so fixed on to begin with! Go figure!

So my challenge for you, and for myself, today is to take a second to look at the Key Performance Indicator Christ has been pointing out specifically to you. He is watching your walk, He knows what will make effectual change, and He is pointing out the most necessary KPI for the moment. Hold on to the truth that your Coach has a greater perspective than you (that’s why you placed yourself under His authority to begin with). Then trust that by actually attempting the KPI, your entire faith will grow a little less scary and much more effective!

It’s your time to SOAR Intentionally my friend!