Thursday, May 28, 2009

Los Angeles Lakers: Pulling it Together at the Right Time


"We have to stay focused and poised and try to cut them up. Be cold-blooded, go out there and execute."

--Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers, after a 103-94 victory Wednesday night, May, 28,2009 that gave them a 3 to 2 game lead in the NBA Western Conference finals.


"This Lakers group is really connected. They're driven and they're motivated to get to where we were last year to give us a chance to win."

--Phil Jackson, Lakers' head coach.

The Los Angeles Lakers, the top seed in the West, are one win away from a second consecutive trip to the NBA finals. It is no coincidence that their mental mindset is coming together as they move toward their goal of an NBA championship.

Their mindset is about being in the right competitive frame of mind. The Lakers appear focused on executing a game plan that fits the game situation. In game five, it required Kobe Bryant's flexibility in getting his teammates involved and playing the decoy role. To do so required the proper mindset and a focus on the ultimate vision: the championship and a commitment to teamwork.

All peak performance involves confidence, commitment, and alignment of behaviors with the selected vision or desired outcome. "Mindsetting" creates the inner conditions for success and innoculates against excessive stress and anxiety, the enemies of peak performance. Attention to one's mindset is necessary for peak performance. It helps deal with pressure, stress, unexpected situations and conditions. It provides a weapon against unwanted emotional states that can destroy our potential and capacity for achievement. It creates mental toughness, a necessary aid in dealing with fatigue, competition, and stress.

However, peak performance also requires execution. This step involves putting the game plan in place. If the game plan is good, then the execution should move forward flawlessly. This execution step requires the full buy-in, commitment and alignment of all the team members that are involved.

Mental mindset and execution are two crucial steps in the Peak Performance System.

In sports and business, the same peak performance principles apply.

Excerpts taken from ESPN.com (May 28, 2009)

For more information about Peak Performance, go to The Handbook of Peak Performance.
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