Becoming a great athlete, or an accomplished coach is dependent upon the right mix of two things:
1) Figuring out new ways transcend normal methods.
2) Copying others who have been successful.
If a competitor only accomplishs number one, it's going to be tough to get to a high level because "enroute" the competitior is going to avoid some tried and true methods. "New" can be good, but not at the expense of ignoring that which has been successful for years.
Likewise, a competitor will miss things by sticking only to number two. We have to press the envelope!
The trick is to figure out the correct mixture.