Stress & Training…

“You won’t rise to the occasion – you’ll default to your level of training!”

Barret Tillman (1992, p.82) writing about US military aviators in a military thriller.

“Under pressure, you will not rise to the occasion. You will revert to your level of training.“

  • Minimum standards lead to minimum performance; known as Lowest Common Denominator Training (LCDT).
  • A military axiom that one (or a Formation) can only perform under stress to the level that one (or the Formation) trained to under similar circumstances.
  • Another example is the principal of specificity in training. The Specificity Principle simply states that training must go from highly general training to highly specific training. The principle of Specificity also implies that to become better at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill; i.e. to be a good cyclist, you must cycle.
  • Simplistically, when thinking about training consider the end result (i.e. the Ends or Outputs) and then the what, who, when, why and how of getting it done (i.e. the Ways and Means).


Tillman, B. (1992) The Sixth Battle. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.


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