Why Innovators Need To Think Like Dick Fosbury

Richard Douglas "Dick" Fosbury is one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field. He completely revolutionized the high jump event, inventing a unique "back-first" technique, now known as the Fosbury Flop, adopted by almost all high jumpers today.   Dick Fosbury was a frustrated 15-year-old high school sophomore. His favorite sport was high jumping. In the initial meet of the year with the bar set at five feet, he was the first one eliminated.`He had some success clearing five feet using the scissors technique, but his coach explained to him that the scissors was an antiquated technique that was rather inefficient. If he wanted to be a competent high jumper, he would have learn the western roll, a technique where the jumper tucked one leg under his chin as he passed sideways over the bar. As his coach explained, the western roll was the best technique and all the top high jumpers used it.   Dick practiced the western roll, but he just couldn`t get the hang of it. He had an idea and he asked his coach if he could revert to the scissors kick. Perhaps feeling that he couldn`t do any worse, his coach allowed him to give it a try.   Dick knew he had to bring his hips higher to avoid hitting the bar so as he hurdled towards the bar he started to arch his back and he easily cleared five feet four inches. As the bar was moved higher Dick arched his back more and more. With the bar at five feet ten inches, Dick arched so much that he ended up flat on his back. It was not very graceful, but he had jumped six inches higher than his previous best and finished fourth in the meet, a huge improvement from a few weeks earlier.   He began experimenting with alternative, unconventional methods of high jumping. The straddling approach was used by all the high jumpers at that time for the past 4 decades. He dared to take the risk and reject the approach. He tweaked the old-fashioned scissor kick, eventually morphing it into a new and unique approach, which was eventually dubbed the `Fosbury Flop.` His approach was scorned by the community. First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. Fosbury set an Olympic record at the 1968 Mexico City games, jumping 7 feet 4.25 inches, and the world had to take notice. He couldn`t do it the way they taught him to do it, so he invented a way he could do it, and now everyone does it his way. Don`t be satisfied to run with the rest of the pack ` think different. Today`s shifting environment`regulatory, demographic, technology, etc.`is ripe for innovation, but the real winners will be those who can exploit value from change that others have overlooked. ` ``When you reach that elite level, 90 percent is mental and 10 percent is physical. You are competing against yourself. Not against the other athlete.` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` `~ Dick Fosbury, Champion Olympic High Jump Athlete Please view the links below to get inspired by Dick Fosbury`v=Z_sIwv6SAxc`v=az18y2AJFyY  

Subscribe with us