“No matter what you learn, no matter how many books you read, tapes and CDs you listen to, or seminars you attend, if you don’t absorb this philosophy of simple steps and their compounded effect over time, you won’t successfully apply those things you learn to create the results you want.”

Key Takeaways:

  • Compound Interest (Effort)
  • Information Application

After finishing Sum It Up by legendary Coach Pat Summitt there was a lot of reflection on the impact of confidence and the significant role it can play towards success. Athletes know as much as anyone that confidence is the key, relative to peak performance individually, or as a team. So these next couple of books for our #BookClub are intended to focus on mental training, particularly looking to answer some of these talking points:

  • Significant events that sway confidence levels
  • Plus-or-Minus performance due to confidence
  • The neuroscience of confidence
  • Coaching confidence
  • Self-Talk & Power of Positivity

From a coaching standpoint having a pulse on player and team psychology seems increasingly important. The quote from Muffitt McGraw that has continued to resonate with me over time.

The Slight Edge is not a book about coaching or anything to do with sports for that matter. It starts off as a financially driven self-help book discussing personal philosophy and actionable decision-making that can lead to profitable results. We will see if that theme stays consistent from cover to cover, however, success is transferable to any arena.

“The purpose of this book is to have you understand the Slight Edge philosophy, to make it part of how you see the world and how you live your life every day. To understand patience; to understand that little steps, compounded, do make a difference. That the things you do every single day, the things that don’t look dramatic, that don’t even look like they matter, do matter. That they not only make a difference – they make all the difference.”

Compound Interest (Effort)

How many times during a game do we implore our players, “Get a stop!”? One-stop!

One turns two. Two turns to a kill. Next thing we know, the opposing bench is calling for a timeout to stop the bleeding and make an adjustment.

“Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too. Success is sequential, not simultaneous.”

– Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

Compound interest is the lifeblood of making gains – ask Warren Buffett. As coaches, our capacity for success depends upon the compound interest of our reps over the course of our season. Our practice plans dedicate hours towards core concepts of our programs – closeouts, scramble situations, or playing from breaks. Every coach in America is trying to be the best at what they do best, yet there is always a team/program on the losing end year-in and year-out. Talent aside, what separates a program having sustainable success versus those striving to get there? It isn’t any concept that is distinctive, it is the context of the information.

Information Application

Staying true to coaching form with the cliches, it is not what we do, but how we do it.

The Slight Edge openly admits that the strategy for success is not new, similar to how homogenous coaches are with defining winning habits that lead to championships. Separation comes from the application of what we know, not from the source of information in itself – acronyms don’t win championships.

Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do.

Confidence doesn’t come from telling our players to get a stop, nor does it likely occur because of the technique we elect to instruct during drills. The confidence of getting a stop comes from understanding the value of one-stop. To actually hold an equivalent value for the 8th possession in the third quarter, as we would for the last possession of the game. As coaches, the challenge of creating confidence for a team comes from instilling that collective mentality. As an individual, the challenge comes from the daily discipline it takes to narrow our focus for sustainable periods of time.

There are a lot of distractions for today’s athletes. Or maybe they are the same as fifty years ago – I don’t know, I didn’t coach back then – however, we do live in a generation of information overload. With answers perceived as a click of a button results too, are expected to come instantaneously. A coach’s challenge for today’s athlete is slowing things down a bit. Trust comes from time, and in time come failures and success that illuminates the perspective to empower confidence.

A question to ask ourselves as coaches could be, what ways (information) are we showing our players the power of compound interest (effort) from their daily contributions?


One thought on “The Slight Edge: Introduction

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