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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sport is Life: Preparation

Family –

Let me first apologize for the long break in between blog posts. With all the media shrapnel flying around about what was happening at my dear Alma Mater, I didn’t think it would be a good time to post something that would otherwise not get the time of day… that said we’re back in full swing.

Let’s continue…

For those of you who are just reading for the first time, we are investigating the concept that “Sport is Life.” Simply stated “Sport is Life” says that no matter your walk of life or professional path some level of sport has entered into your existence… athlete or not.

The second tier in our “Sport is Life” series centers on something that we all know well… PREPARATION. Since sport is the angle we’re taking, let’s reflect back to a time that we needed to prepare for a big athletic test. Perhaps it was facing the number one team in the conference or the best team in the state. Your preparation gave you the best possible opportunity to accomplish three things:

1.       Perform at an optimum level (because that’s what it would take to compete).
2.      Give you the best chance, if any, to win.
3.      Prevent you from being embarrassed (pride ever-present in sport).

Think back to the focus you had and the “can do” attitude that you approached each day with… those were probably some of the most fruitful days in preparation (practice) you had right? Think back for a second… the coaches were more focused… the game plan seemed to make more sense… your school and community backed you for the most part (even though there were a few who still thought you had no chance) and the people on your team had the resolve it took to fight, compete and give their best effort no matter the situation.

Preparation is a tool that
gives you the best possible
opportunity to succeed.
How is that different from our professional lives? Maybe you’re an attorney and you’re facing one of the top legal giants in your discipline… maybe you’re a salesperson looking to land a huge national account…then again maybe you're simply going in for a job interview that you have a snowball’s chance of landing. Where’s the difference? 
Hmmmmm…let’s see…. 1. You still want to perform at an optimum level best since there is so much more at stake ($$$$). 2. You still want to give yourself the best possible chance to be successful even if the odds are stacked against you. 3. The last thing you want is to be embarrassed (especially on a bigger stage). Sounds to me like preparation is one of those key ingredients for success much like our previous characteristic – focus.

Look… let’s make it simple… no one is ever going to win every single time. Preparing yourself to be the best you can be at least insures that you’ll know what’s going on and not be caught off guard. Let’s face it…the world is an ugly place – filled with selfish, evil bullies that try to take advantage of the unsuspecting (just ask my Notre Dame Brother).

With that in mind, my question is… “Why would you NOT prepare?” Coach Holtz used to remind us going into a game: “Men…we don’t have to be the best in the country today… we only need to be the best in the stadium today.” That took the pressure off and helped us realize that we needed to focus on the task at hand. We couldn’t control what was happening around the country, but we could control what we did on the field that day. In that same vein you too can control what you do today… and if we’re being honest, that’s the ONLY thing we can control.

We’ve heard all the clichés “plan your work, work your plan,” “if you fail to plan you plan to fail,” “walking on hot coals will burn your feet,”….uh…err… well maybe not the last one, but you get my point. Here’s one last quote to put your knapsack… feel free to refer to it as often as needed:

“A life without preparation is a life without destination – Sport is Life.”

1 comment:

  1. Falling in the "or not" category of sport (as a participant), I can look back on the years of preparation that went into helping my sons prepare for various sporting events. How often do I ask MYSELF if I have eaten well, slept well, PREPARED FOR the task ahead of me?