Thursday, November 15, 2012

The San Francisco Giants Make Their Luck as a Team

“It’s amazing what a team can do when they set aside their own agenda and that’s what they’ve done all year.  Really, it’s been a beautiful thing to watch.  The only thing that bothered me through all this was that I kept hearing people say we were lucky. We were getting the breaks, the bounces.  You don’t luck into 94 wins.  You don’t luck into the postseason.  You don’t luck into the World Series.  You don’t sweep a great team like the Detroit Tigers by being lucky.”

--Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants' manager, discussing how the Giants won their second World Series in 24 months.

The Giants are World Series champions because of their emphasis on pitching excellence. This emphasis is truly important in the postseason where hot bats can rarely be counted upon. However, perhaps more importantly, they value team play as well.

“We’ll still keep a low profile. That’s who we are as people. That’s who we are as an organization.
We don’t promote ourselves. That won’t change. That will never change.”

--Giants' general manager Brian Sabean.

Are you a team player?  Are you selfless?  Can you describe your team or organization like the Giants describe their championship team?  Do you hire selfless people who can set aside their own agenda?  Can you achieve excellence any other way? 

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Mental Conditioning is About Focus, and Freshness

“I think any time you get that break, it can be a good thing if it’s utilized properly. I think there definitely was a sense of relief from all of us – coaches and players – of just not having a game-plan last week, and having the whole mental pressure of coming up with a game-plan, and each day thinking about game-plans and adjustments. … The weight of studying for a final exam, if you will. You’re grinding through a week of preparation and then you go for the final exam. After you’ve had eight of those, it’s nice to have a week where you don’t have to study, you don’t have to game-plan, and you don’t have a final exam. You don’t have all the mental adjustments you have to go through. Now this week, we’re back into that and hopefully we have a little bit of a freshness, or a better approach to it than that after eight weeks of doing it.”

--Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, following a mid-season bye week.

Mental conditioning is certainly about focus and intensity, but is it also about staying fresh and combating mental, emotional and physical fatigue. 

Do you take regular, systematic, structured breaks to recharge?  Do you find your thinking more creative, more effective after a break?

Make sure that you plan downtime.  Make sure that you are not just escaping or procrastinating.  Give yourself permission to take a break to recharge the batteries.  Escape and procrastinating is not as satisfying as a structured, planful break to decompress. 

Bill Belichick understands this as well as anyone.  Belichick has taken his team to 5 Super Bowls and won 3 of them. 

Excerpt for (11/6/2012).