Tag Archive for 'Winning'

There is no such thing as talent

Many business people want “success” to be more ‘cerebral and complex’… When it’s not.

Just keep thinking about how you achieved at a sport and developed mastery – without clarity and concentration of focus, it’s IMPOSSIBLE.

Everyone wants to think champions are “born” and that talent is a god-given gift. It’s not. It’s pure hard work and execution of the basics. “Pure talent” like Michelangelo and Da Vinci are so rare that over the CENTURIES there are only a handful of such examples.

All the other “great masters” spent the same 10,000+ hours learning their craft – MOST of them dying destitute BECAUSE they acquired mastery too late…

On one hand it’s sobering and on the other it means greatness is within us all – IF WE WANT IT.

I see this manifest itself all the time, on the squash court and in business.

People want to win in squash and get more leads, projects, contracts in business, but most are not willing to do what it takes to achieve “game excellence”.

Everyone can have an “excellent game” when everything flows and the stars in the universe line up, but “game excellence” is the ability to do it consistently, over and over again.

Game excellence is acquired with deliberate practice.

If only more people would just give up on the self-perpetuating myth and realise the reality… You need to INVEST in yourself to get the PAYOFF.

Match #4: 2009 World Masters Games

What can I say? It all started with a nail biter I lost 10-12. I felt confident I could win this match. The next game went my way with an 11-8 win that wasn’t decisive, but it was a solid game. The next game was all over the place, he took it 9-11, once again only a few points separating us. At this point, I’m thinking it’s still going to plan even though I am down 2-1 in games. All the preparation, planning and routines are still going to pay dividends.

The fourth game was another good effort, yielding an 11-7 win for me.

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Match #3: 2009 World Masters Games

Well it happened again – I was up 2 games and then lost the next 2. But now I know what’s going on. I am in-between several improvements in my training and when I play to win, I win and when I let up and play not to lose I actually don’t win… It’s a very slight nuance, but one that today became crystal clear, in hindsight. So, you want to know what happened in game 5?

World Masters Games Sydney2009I came out with all 8 cylinders and double barrels loaded – got up 5-0 and took the game 11-6 – with total power, pace and intensity that was firewalking, over-the-top full-on domination.

I felt good to finally figure this out. Of course in hindsight it’s always 20-20…

I suspected this was happening, but because I didn’t feel or think (self-talk) I was doing this, it was hard to pin point.

Throughout this competition I’ve felt confident, strong and in control – in the past I didn’t have this match confidence due to lack of experience. I’ve played less than 10 competitive matches in total, so to get to world-class competition this quickly means there are going to be gaps to fill.

More match play will fill this gap as will targeted training sessions once this competition is over.

Lessons of the day that I can share publicly are:

Once you ‘decide’ to win, something changes in your physiology, body chemistry and of course mindset. Sure this sounds self-evident, but anyone who’s competed and punched above his or her weight understands this pivotal shift.

I just hadn’t realised I had dialled it down one notch since my self-talk hadn’t changed – I wasn’t saying or thinking different things even though my body was.

The scores in this match were 11-6, 11-9, 9-11, 4-11 and 11-6. The third game was the one I should and could have put away, losing it by 2 points – that’s the lesson I’ve learned – to trust my instincts and abilities to red line it when it counts.

The other lesson was the preparation for today’s match – I did a few things to make sure I was ‘ready’ – in doing so, I noticed others who were also doing likewise – until today I had never even thought they would be there…

It’s confidential because at the top levels, everyone’s trying to get and keep the edge so I can’t divulge who and what they were doing because I wouldn’t want them doing that to me.

That’s the other lesson I learned today – the camaraderie is quite something. I’ve said it before how positive an environment it is with world-class competitors who are fit and healthy…

I obviously highly recommend it to anyone who’s feeling alone, left out or otherwise excluded. Any sport or group activity that is competitive will attract this positive and supportive environmental factor…

So that’s it for today – tomorrow’s match is another challenge – one that I look forward to.

Wish me luck!

Match #1 2009 Australian Masters Squash Championships

Game 1

I bolted out of the blocks to make sure I got my rhythm and confidence, not used to playing to 9 hand-out, it’s important I get a good start to each game. It started well, I won the ‘spin of the racquet’ to start serve and got the first point. I dominated and won easily 9-4.

Game 2

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What It Takes To MAKE You Into A Champion Can PREVENT You From Becoming One

It’s one of life’s paradoxes. What it takes to MAKE you into a Champion can PREVENT you from becoming one. That is a really deep thought. One worth reflecting on. You need the DRIVE AND WILL TO WIN, but that very drive and especially ego can PREVENT you from the goal you so aspire to achieve…

What I’m talking about it playing to WIN versus playing to IMPROVE. I often play with players who just want to WIN on the DAY. That’s it, that’s all. They don’t care about tomorrow or the next day. Winning TODAY is everything.

Winning Might Make You Into A Loser

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