On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS March 3, 2014 #478 Up next…Are you a clutch performer?
After further review…During the XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia we heard one of the many NBC announcers invoke the term “clutch performances”, while at the same time chiding some of the Olympic athletes for failure to deliver on their high expectations. It begs the question of anyone in competition: Are you a clutch performer? Can you depend on your skills to be successful, when it comes to what is called a “defining moment”? Can others rely on you to come through in the clutch?
Having been on the NFL field with “clutch” quarterbacks (Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Roger Staubach, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Jim Kelly, and Dan Marino being the cream of that crop) I saw them consistently come through to win games. Time after time in critical final drives I’d see these exceptional players call the play in the huddle, inspiring the T*E*A*M around them to grab victory on the next snap of the ball.
So what does it take to come through “in-the-clutch”? Here is the Tunney Side take on that question: First, it takes your will as described in my book “It’s the Will, not the Skill”. Simply and briefly it’s the desire, the passion and the never-quit belief that you will rise to the challenge! Second, prepare thoroughly! There is no substitute! As legendary Los Angeles Rams Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen said, “The will to prepare is more important than the will to win!”
Third, you need focus. One must concentrate on the task ahead and block out all distractions. Many call that being “in the zone”. When you are in the zone, everything seems to happen in slow motion. Fourth, courage is called for. You must be willing to take a chance and risk failure. It takes courage to enjoy being competitive. Your courage will often bring out the best in you.
Talent may make an appearance in a clutch scenario. Clutch performers will often have no idea where they learned the execution for the game-winning move. Instead, it’s the elements of Will, Preparation, Focus and Courage that puts one in the class of clutch players.
Will you develop the will to be a clutch performer?
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