As I reflect on my career - athletic, executive and coaching - the times that I have achieved the most have been when I had a worthy competitor or collaborator that drove me to be my best.
Roc Murray (a business partner and mentor) unlocked the secret to this when he explained the true meaning of "compete". The latin root for compete is petere, which means to strive, and the prefix com means together. So when you put that together, compete means to strive together.
When I think about it, as I strove in athletics and academics, my first collaborators were my parents. Things really took off when I met my lifelong friend Bill Brelsford. From the ages of 6 to 18, Bill and I practiced together and competed against each other in anything we did - baseball, racquetball, running, 1:1 tackle football games and school. You name it, we competed. This drove both of us to accomplish big things.
This continued throughout college and my career. I met another lifelong friend Sal De Trane - we rose through the ranks together at Andersen and then partnered on a number of business ventures, both achieving CEO roles in our early 30s. During a particularly productive time, our days started and ended with a phone call to check in. What were we going to accomplish, did we accomplish it and what were we going to do the next day.
So if you aspire to achieve great things, find yourself some great collaborators on the same road. Tell these collaborators your goals and vice versa. Check in with your collaborators for accountability and encouragement at the beginning and the end of each day.
The Hard 90 Mindset is a book I wrote for amateur athletes (high school, junior high school and their parents) that aspire to reach their full potential on the baseball field and in life beyond. The process and philosophy behind The Hard 90 Mindset comes from personal experience in my athletic and professional career, coaching some of the 300+ alumni from Hard 90 baseball that have gone on to collegiate and professional baseball, and executive development workshops and leadership books and courses that I have studied over the years.
This week, the team at Hard 90 launched Strive - a 5 tool online baseball training application for jr. high school, high school, collegiate and professional athletes. Athletes in our Strive program receive personalized 5 tool workout programs delivered through their phones. Athletes participate in 3 Zoom meetings a week to check in, review progress and Strive together toward their goals.