“All of us get knocked down, but it’s resiliency that matters. All of us do well when things are going well, but the thing that distinguishes athletes is the ability to do well in times of great stress, urgency, and pressure.”
– Roger Staubach, Heisman Trophy Winner, Member Pro Football Hall of Fame
Great accomplishments and great moments are a result of adversity and the struggles competitors face. A true competitor relishes in the opportunity to face the adversity and perform in crucial situations. It is easy to perform when things are going well and there is little perceived pressure, however, little to no growth occurs in these situations.
The true competitor seeks out opportunities to feel the pressure, to be accustomed to the struggle, the stress of a situation and the urgency of the moment. As Roger Staubach points out, this is what distinguishes athletes; their ability to handle the pressure sets them apart. Perspective allows the competitor to understand the ability to handle and perform under stress and pressure is always developing and evolving. This ability, which is ultimately a skill, cannot be turned on with a switch.
Developing the ability to perform under pressure can be practiced in a variety of situations, not just in the athletic arena. If you want to be the player to get the big hit in the last inning, establish that mindset when giving a speech in class. If you want to be able to sink the game winning free throws, study and prepare for the test in the same way. If you want to be in the boardroom making the million-dollar sale, rehearse the presentation and closing in the bathroom mirror. Competitors find ways to prepare for pressure; large accomplishments are made of small steps. Seek out the small pressure-packed situations to develop the poise required in the pressure-cooker.
Question of the Day:
What small pressure-filled situations can you seek out today to be come comfortable with pressure?