Let Lp
= Lp
(X, μ), 1 ≤ p ≤ ∞, be the usual Banach Spaces of real valued functions on a complete non-atomic probability space. Let (T
1, . . . ,T
K
) be L
2-contractions. Let 0 < ε < δ ≤ 1. Call a function f a δ-spanning function if ‖f‖2 = 1 and if ‖Tkf - Q
k-1
Tkf‖2 ≥ δ for each k = 1, . . . ,K, where Q
0 = 0 and Qk
is the orthogonal projection on the subspace spanned by (T
1
f , . . . ,Tkf). Call a function h a (δ, ε) -sweeping function if ‖h‖∞ ≤ 1, ‖h‖1 < ε, and if max1≤k≤K
|Tk
h| > δ-ε on a set of measure greater than 1 - ε. The following is the main technical result, which is obtained by elementary estimates. There is an integer K = K(
δ, ε) ≥ 1 such that if f is a
δ
-spanning function, and if the joint distribution of (f , T
1
f , . . . ,TKf) is normal, then h = ((fΛM)Ꮩ(-M)/M is a (
δ, ε)-sweeping function, for some M > 0. Furthermore, if Tk
s are the averages of operators induced by the iterates of ameasure preserving ergodic transformation, then a similar result is true without requiring that the joint distribution is normal. This gives the following theorem on a sequence (Ti
) of these averages.Assume that for each K ≤ 1 there is a subsequence (Ti
1 , . . . ,Tik
) of length K, and a δ-spanning function fK
for this subsequence. Then for each ε > 0 there is a function h, 0 ≥ h ≥ 1, ‖h‖1 < ε, such that lim supi Tih ≤ δ a.e.. Another application of the main result gives a refinement of a part of Bourgain’s “Entropy Theorem”, resulting in a different, self contained proof of that theorem.