Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Celebrate Success: Los Angeles Lakers Ring Ceremony

A team is a small number of people interdependent on their complementary skills, who are committed to a common purpose, performance, and an approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable (Jon Katzenbach)

Forget the excuses.

Forget the nay-sayers.

Forget the yes-people.

Forget the experts.

Forget who's in charge.

Forget the contingency plans.

Forget the media.

Forget the compromises.

Keep your vision at the forefront.

"I've shared with my teammates how I prepare for games. My hope is that my mentality rubs off on them. I want them to see what I see, think about what I think about: Why did you turn the ball over? What was the defense doing? What were your options? If this guy cuts here and the defense does this, who does that free up?

"We've got guys who are gym rats, who want to work hard, who want to win. The trick is to get everybody playing together, trying to accomplish the same goal. If you have the talent and the sacrifice on top of that, you have a championship-caliber team. One player can do only so much. If you haven't gotten to that next level, you haven't figured out how to get everybody on the same page."

--Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers.

Is this how your team celebrates success?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Team Chemistry: The Forgotten Variable in Success

I have never seen the hype machine in higher gear than it has been since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in Miami. Many people have either predicted an 82-0 season record and/or an automatic NBA championship trophy to the Miami Heat even before the regular season had started.

The 88-80 win by the veteran Boston Celtics over the Miami Heat last night in Boston in the season opener is a reminder that talent is never enough. The Celtics, made up of a core unit of Ray Allen (20 points) , Paul Pierce (19 points), Rajon Rondo (who led the Celtics with 17 assists) and Kevin Garnett (10 points and 10 rebounds) and veteran Shaquille O'Neal, beat the Heat because of one thing: team chemistry.  Despite 31 points from LeBron James, the Heat looked disorganized and over-matched.

What we saw was a veteran Celtics team that has been together since 2007. The Celtics own one NBA championship and another finals appearance since that time. Last night, it beat a Miami team of newly acquired "super talent." The Celtic team has kept its core because of its understanding of team chemistry, cohesion, precision passing and team defense. Talent cannot be put together quickly and made to perform flawlessly without much planning, preparation, and practice.  You can expect the Miami Heat to continue to be less than stellar without much more time to come together.  The competition is gunning for them and the Heat may have a harder time than expected early in the season at least. Watch the more experienced NBA teams take advantage for the foreseeable future.

So, remember, when you want top performance and results with any team, consider team chemistry. Keep your team together and be patient. You will be rewarded. Don't assume that talent can perform at a high level without time, togetherness and maturity.

To download the new mobile mental conditioning app from Performance Vertical Consulting, get your smartphone and click on:  Mindfuel Lite.  

For more on performance psychology, click on The Handbook of Peak Performance.  

Monday, October 18, 2010

Miles Austin of the Dallas Cowboys Steps Up and Takes Responsibility

When the wheels on the bus start to fall off, do you take responsibility?  Many people do not.  Here is an example of someone who did.  

"I just feel terrible about it.  I just shouldn't even have put the team in a situation like that. As bad as I feel about it I've just got to do whatever I can to make it up to the team and just continue to work as hard as I can."

"And I'm the reason of that message, to be honest with you.  It's a terrible, terrible feeling. The only thing I can do is the most I can do every day to help this team out. And that is going in today, getting a workout in, watching film today, as much as I can, and just trying to make up for it."

--Miles Austin, Dallas Cowboys  wide receiver, after a loss to the Minnesota Vikings that put his team's record at 1-4 for the season.  

Austin was called for an excessive celebration penalty after a Cowboy touchdown during the game on Sunday.  This was the second penalty of this type against the Cowboys in the past two weeks.  He was also penalized for a push-off that resulted in a pass interference call in the seond quarter, nullifying a beautiful 68-yard touchdown catch.

The Handbook of Peak Performance

Dallas Cowboys: Peak Performance Case Study