Why we underperform, or, You too can train to win

Never in sport have so few been willing to do the things so many won’t. But talented people with that “all consuming passion” so many are yet to find don’t always win games just because they step onto a court. From birth they are conditioned not to perform by parents who create this threshold by complaint:

  1. Monday is the first day of the week and no one wants to work.
  2. Tuesday is not much better.
  3. Wednesday is hump day and everyone’s happy. More gets done on Wednesday than any other work day of the week in the USA.
  4. Thursday is Wednesday’s hangover. People slump knowing Friday is coming.
  5. Friday’s another happy day. TGIF. And most Americans work only half as hard. Saturday’s coming.
  6. The weekend’s here! Let’s put our feet up and sleep in. Puts a damper on morning matches doesn’t it? How many parents have said, “We’re not a morning team.” Or “We’re not sure which team will show up today.” Weekends in America are the root cause of why athletes ride emotional roller coasters. We live for our time off, not our physical and mental work ethic. It’s not PC and we don’t want to make those choices. It’s easier to quit than commit which is why over 51% of American’s get divorced. That’s not OK. It increases the vector and velocity of the roller coaster.
  7. Sunday. A day of rest. But Monday’s tomorrow and the cycle starts again. Bummer.

Now you want me to go out there and do what?! Some example you’ve been.

Being a coach and an advertising campaign manager I planned my week around the above lunar cycle. I made Monday’s and Tuesdays my most fun days. My sales offices and my girl’s basketball teams worked just as hard on Monday’s and Tuesdays as they did on Wednesdays. As a result my offices would set daily and weekly records. Wednesday’s I’d wham my guys with the opposite of what they’d expected to hear because they were on a Wednesday high expecting to hear they were the greatest thing since sliced bread. They could afford to be slightly deflated without a drop in confidence. So I’d send them out thinking, “Is that as good as we get or is this all we got?” They all competed even harder and we set national sales records. The lowliest guy who didn’t close a deal would hear I thought he was fabulous – which he never expected to hear. This boosted his confidence and he’d go out on Thursdays like a tiger. Thursdays we went back to fun to balance the lull. Friday, those who had not hit their goals worked a little harder and most hit their weekly goals by the end of the day. The rest of the teams just continued their upward momentum established earlier in the week. Same reason guys who usually don’t close deals early in the day are able to do so by the end of the day. Their pulse would quicken between 4 and 5:30 knowing I’m going to check their numbers or the hustle chart before they go home. Those who didn’t hit weekly goals worked Saturdays and Sundays to hit the marks they’d established for themselves Monday. The whole office joined them. Again, bummer. Eventually the work ethic established became habit. Once we formed habits the habits formed us – and the company would send my teams throughout the US to turn around struggling offices.

As a result I finished my youth basketball coaching with a 292-22 record over 11 years. Just about as good as John Wooden. My account acquisition and customer retention record for Starbucks, Staples and other companies is still untouched.

Now don’t forget. Everyone has a good day on their birthday. It’s as much fun as hump day so play those players as much as you can on their birthdays. They’ll be your day’s stars on the court or in the office. My worst business guys always closed their most deals on birthdays. We always won games. Funny how emotions control us before we learn how to control our emotions.

There are eight steps to master while learning to master the above.

On a daily basis you must:

  1. Learn how to have a good attitude. That’s easy. But remember. We don’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed. We wake up on the wrong side of our minds. (Nutrition and going to bed on time is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish.)
  2. Learn how to maintain a good attitude – people are trying to knock a good attitude off your shoulder because they  don’t have it. Don’t go looking for “yeses.” You’ll burn out because that many are not out there. Become “a professional “no” collector” who believes every no brings you closer to a yes. This way every “no” or “negative” becomes a blessing in disguise. The next time you see them you’ll know how to recognize and react to them. This is why coaches say, “I don’t care if you make a mistake. Just don’t make the same mistake twice.” That’s how you up your volleyball IQ.
  3. Be on time. If you’re not early you’re late.
  4. Be prepared. Average has gotten so bad in America everyone thinks they can go to the head of the class just by showing up. No one wants to spend time making themselves a better them. They want to do today what they did yesterday because they think it will be OK to do it tomorrow. That’s not the mantra of champions.
  5. Work a full day (see above).
  6. Work your territory properly. How many times a day do you spend time with people who are better than you learning how to do what they do?
  7. Know where you are and know where you are going. It answers the question why am I doing this and helps you get through those Monday blues.
  8. Take. Control. It’s the NIKE step. Just do it. None of this is rocket science. Just be willing to work harder than all others and don’t quit when everyone else has decided to call it a day. If you do this you will be doing the things other people are not willing to do to obtain the things they will never have. It’s really that simple. But you have to practice this every day. Like a diet it’s a lifestyle. This is why so many fail and take the path toward mediocrity instead of success. It’s WORK!
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