Have you ever wondered why some teams thrive during the playoffs?
Have you ever wondered why some teams choke in the playoffs?
Michael Jordan - put it into perspective: “I would tell players to relax and never think about what’s at stake. Just think about the basketball game. If you start to think about who is going to win the championship, you’ve lost your focus.”
We believe that the great separator comes down to FOCUS. Great teams focus on the present. They play the game one pitch at a time. They treat the game as if it were just another game to win. They let all of their training and preparation determine the outcome.
Teams that struggle focus on the outcome and cannot stay in the present. If we win this game, we will advance or win the championship. If we lose we will go home or our season will end. Focusing on the outcome puts additional pressure on the game.
Great teams focus on the positive. During the course of the game the great teams track positive outcomes. Pitching seems to get better during playoff time- the great teams claim small victories - the leadoff hitter had a 7 pitch at bat and we saw all three pitches. Teams are generally better in playoff time - their catcher has a strong arm - we are going use our bunting skills to move runners into scoring position.
Teams that struggle track the negative. That pitcher is really good - he just struck out our leadoff and best hitter. Their catcher has a strong arm - will not not be able to run today.
Finally, the great teams focus on the joy of the game. The great teams treat the game as another day at the yard - they enjoy the pregame routine, the opportunity to play great competition and the opportunity to get better. The joy allows players to stay in the moment.
The teams that struggle - lose the joy in the stress and look for joy in the result. These teams put more effort in their warm ups, try too hard during the games and in the end play tight.
So in the end - remember success in the big game lies in your focus - Be Present, Be Positive and enJOY the Moment!