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  • Writer's pictureSantiago Garcia

The Hidden Grade Sheet

Often, what determines someone’s success under the pressure of performance is the work that was done when nobody was watching. It is the work done on one’s own time, outside of the normal practice schedule, syllabus requirements or program, that often distinguishes excellence from average. Simply doing what is required may be enough to meet minimum standards, but it may not necessarily be enough to achieve peak performance. To truly be at your best, you need to make choices throughout the entire day, not just during the duty day, that promote peak performance in the operating environment. A way my team and I hold each other accountable is through a daily checklist we call, ‘The Hidden Grade Sheet.’ The Hidden Grade Sheet got its name because of the connection it has to performing well on an actual grade sheet from an evaluation.

I first learned the effectiveness of the Hidden Grade Sheet when one of my tennis coaches, Steve Smith, taught me how to create a daily monitoring checklist for developing long-term skills that hold up under the pressure of competition.

The Hidden Grade Sheet was developed to quantify those actionable steps one ought to take in order to properly prepare for or to sustain peak performance. This checklist is a way to verify whether or not we’ve controlled what we can control.

By using The Hidden Grade Sheet, we’ve connected actionable steps that we each take on a daily basis to set ourselves up for success. This checklist gives us confidence in knowing we did everything in our control to prepare for the challenge. Tyler, Brandon, and I each have individually tailored daily and weekly checklists. However, a few of the subjects they have in common include:

  • Checking in with family & friends

  • Exercising

  • Journaling

  • Making our bed

  • Nutrition

  • Praying

  • Rest & Recovery

  • Stretching

  • Studying

Our team believes success isn’t determined by a result or an outcome. Rather, we measure our success by our faithfulness and commitment towards achieving a defined goal or task. We quantify our degree of faithfulness to these goals by using rubrics like The Hidden Grade Sheet.

Our team encourages you to make your own checklist and try it for a week. For some inspiration, you can reference mine (below)!

Santi Hidden Grade Sheet Sample
Download PDF • 88KB

We guarantee it will make a positive impact in your productivity by bringing an increased awareness to your daily and weekly routine. Let us know how it worked for you and please share with a friend! Drop us a note at

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