Training Camp is the time when football players refocus on the basics. It’s not glamorous or exciting, and it’s easy to fall into thinking you’re beyond the basics of blocking and tackling. Yet professional and college players know better. So should you.
So, why are the basics so important in business?
1) Get Out of that Funk
We all hit a rut sometimes. Maybe you’ve gotten discouraged or distracted, or maybe you’re just plain tired. Admit it. It’s a normal reaction. The important thing is to get out of it.
Athletes get out of a funk by going back to basics. Nothing too challenging or strenuous, just enough to stay in the flow of training and grounding themselves in the skills they know backwards and forwards. Pretty soon, they’re ready to train hard again—and raise their level of play. You can use the same strategy. Get some simple work done; it will refocus you, and it will give you some small wins you can feel good about.
2) Lay the Groundwork for the Big Wins
Everyone wants to focus on the big plays, the big hits. For you, that might be working on a large deal or acquiring an important client. But it’s important to realize that big wins are just a by-product of working on the fundamentals. That winning play everyone will be talking about for months couldn’t happen if the players didn’t put in the hours working on blocking and tackling.
So, follow up with clients. Cultivate a reputation for timeliness and responsiveness. Learn how to write professional emails well, and write them that way every single time. Follow a basic sales procedure. The important deals will come.
3) Avoid Injuries
Players who don’t tackle correctly are much more likely to injure themselves. In football, a bad injury can end a career or worse. You’ve heard the stories. Likewise, if you don’t follow the correct procedures in business, if you don’t pay attention to the details and think about what you’re doing and why, you could lose a deal or a client—or even find yourself in serious legal or ethical trouble. You could end your career that way, or even hurt someone. Don’t let that happen; pay attention to the basics.
Look, no one is saying that the fundamentals are exciting. But to get to that excitement, you must first spend countless hours at practice. For those of you who are well established and know your skills, realize you are not immune to a rut and know that every area could always use a refresher. For those who are starting out, don’t skip ahead.
Get back to basics. Blocking and Tackling.
3 Key Points:
1) Anyone can hit a rut. Realize this early and focus on the basics.
2) Big plays happen as a result of outstanding basic skills.
3) Don’t skip ahead. Get back to basics.
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