I don’t know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody — somewhere — was practicing more than me.
So I was listening to Robert Sharma today talking about the 11 Obsessions of an Entrepreneur, and I couldn’t really get past the first key. Before I begin, let me backtrack a little. I am still planning to do a paragraph a week on the lessons I’m learning from the Think and Grow Rich stuff I posted in my last post. But, today I had an epiphany and wanted to share it, more for my own learning than anything else. However, hopefully it will help someone else.
Robert’s first obsession of successful people was that you had to, “understand the quality of the practice determines the caliber of performance.” This blew me away. I felt like it was right in front of my face forever and I had just never noticed. Maybe it was his word choice that really sparked my thinking. Allow me to explain.
I have spent the last 9 years coaching high school boys basketball. In that time we have managed to have a lot of success, where success had not occured often before. In the 8 years I was there, we made the playoffs 5 times (including the final 8 tourney twice). Where in the 32 years of the schools existence, they had been to the playoffs 3 times other than when we were there. Honestly, I feel like I could write a book about that experience, and maybe someday I will. But, I’m getting sidetracked. The learning for me today occurred when I combined what I was learning from Robert Sharma with my experience coaching.
Although we had a significant amount of success at McKay, I would never take credit for what happened. When you do that job, you quickly realize that there are so many outside variables that must work in order for you to be successful. Honestly, I think most of the credit goes to those players who were willing to work as hard as we pushed them. However, as a coach, my number one philosophy in terms of basketball strategy, was always that the quality of our practices determined how well we would play in games. This was not to say that if we had a bad practice we were going to play horribly the next day. Rather, in totality the practices needed to be efficient, quick hitting, and intense. If we were achieving this nearly all of the time we would be successful. I saw this as my primary role. I think I stole most of this philosophy from John Wooden, but I really believed the quality of our preparation made a huge difference in how we performed. This was THE MOST CRITICAL part of my basketball philosophy.
So, when I heard this teaching this morning I was shocked at how I had been missing the connection to my own life. The quality of my “practice” determines my “performance”. Again, not in a single event mindset, but in the overall quality of what I am doing. How much time and I spending watching TV (Netflix, movies, etc) versus reading? Am I listening to music all the time or am I filling my mind with audiobooks that will help me learn. Now, don’t get me wrong it is also necessary to spend some time entertaining yourself. I spent most of the day yesterday just watching movies and relaxing. I’m all for rest and relaxation. I’m just saying I was wasting a lot of time for the last few years just doing nonsense things for long periods of time. Maybe try and carve out 10 minutes a day to focus on personal development. You’re worth 10 minutes a day right? And, the nice thing is that that ends up being over an hour a week. Start small and see where that takes you.