Question Everything, But Ask Better Questions

Expert interviewer Tim Ferriss has some tips

Sep 19, 2016
Outside
Outside Magazine
Question Everything, But Ask Better Questions

The man with the four-hour plan has some advice for getting answers    Photo: Martin Schoeller

“Quality questions create a quality life,” says Tony Robbins.

I couldn’t agree more. When I interview athletes or coaches to dig for non-obvious tactics, I often start with some combination of the below. These can also be modified for any skill or topic outside sports. Simply replace [sport] with what you want to learn, and find a good mentor. You can often locate world-class athletes via Google who are willing to answer these on Skype for $50 to $100 per hour.

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“Who is good at [sport] despite being poorly built for it? Who’s good at this who shouldn’t be?”

“Who are the most controversial or unorthodox athletes or trainers in [sport]? Why? What do you think of them?”

“Who are the most impressive lesser-known teachers?”

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“What makes you different? What’s the oddest thing you do for training? Who trained you or influenced you?”

“What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in [sport] training? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices?”

“What are your favorite instructional books or resources on the subject? If people had to teach themselves, what would you suggest they use?”

“If you were to train me for eight weeks for a [sport] competition and had a million dollars on the line, what would the training look like? How would it change if we had only four weeks?”

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