After Further Review … Are you a clutch performer? Can you depend on your skills to be successful, when it comes down to that “defining moment?” Do others rely on you to “come through,” when the going gets tough?
These questions came to mind as I watched the recent Major League Baseball All-Star game, which had the slogan “Clutch Performer!” That phrase also comes to mind as I watch players hit home runs in the bottom of the ninth, or make a saving catch of a “sure” home run ball.
Having been on the NFL field with “clutch” quarterbacks such as Joe Montana (49ers), Steve Young (49ers), Roger Staubach (Cowboys), John Elway (Broncos), Terry Bradshaw (Steelers), Jim Kelly (Bills), and Dan Marino (Dolphins), I saw them consistently come through to win games. Indeed, their T.E.A.M. knew they would be successful in that last drive of the game.
So what does it take to be a “clutch” performer? Here are Webster’s definitions of the word clutch: “to grasp,” i.e., to understand the situation (better than others). Webster further goes on to say “control or power” and “done during a crucial situation.” Do those mentioned above measure up to those definitions? Surely, you could add others with those qualities. Let’s look at a few qualities that define “clutch players/performers:”
First, it takes your WILL! As described in my book, “It’s the Will, Not the Skill,” it’s a desire – a passion. A “never quit” attitude and a belief that whatever the challenge, you can do it! Remember – the task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you!
Second, prepare thoroughly – there is no substitute. “Practice, practice, practice,” legendary Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi used to drill – passionately – into his World Champion Packers.
Third, focus – that means concentrate on the task and block out all distractions. As someone said, “When you brush your teeth, just brush your teeth.” In this day of multi-tasking, we often allow distracting thoughts to interfere with our task-at-hand. Does talking or texting on a cell phone while driving come to mind?
Fourth, courage. You must be willing to take a chance, risking failure. Clutch performers’ step-up without being afraid to fail. It takes courage to enjoy being competitive. Courage can bring out the best in you.
And fifth – finally, but not all-inclusive – is the word talent. Those mentioned earlier had great talent. Yet, it was the elements of Will, Preparation, Focus and Courage that put those players in the “class of clutch players.”
Will you develop your talents to be a clutch performer?