What do Wayne Gretzky and I have in common? Being performers. We can learn so much about improving our performance in business by studying great athletes and their secrets for success. Regardless of the sport, elite athletes routinely tell us that their success is as much a mental game as it is physical. Yes, they have to be in great shape and train in their sport; but when interviewed, they point out how important their mental game is to winning. They train their brains, too.
For example, Gretzky, a former professional ice hockey player nicknamed “The Great One”, said:
“I couldn’t beat people with my strength; I don’t have a hard shot; I’m not the quickest skater in the league. My eyes and my mind have to do most of the work.”
Improving Our Mental Game
Taking this tip from Gretzky and other professional athletes, you and I can improve our business game and success rate by where we put our focus, both what we are looking at and what we are thinking and saying to others and ourselves. Gretzky said:
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
In business, we can translate his perspective to having our eye on the future and where our performance and business is headed. If we take the time to consider probable future outcomes (where the puck is going to be), we can see new choices for actions and results.
Take a Tip from the Great Ones
Whether you are an athlete or not, you can learn from them and improve your business performance. Go on the web, read an article, listen to an interview, or read their books. However you do it, just study what they say about being an outstanding performer. You will be inspired and, if you are like me, surprised by how much you can apply their story in your own life and profession.
Bonnie Wingate is a Partner at Insigniam, an international management consulting firm which specializes in catalyzing breakthrough performance and results.