Recently, I had the privilege to hear Head Coach Gene Auriemma of the University of Connecticut Women’s National Basketball Championship team (10 time champion since he became the head coach) speak and he said something that I can’t get out of my head. He said, “When we recruit our girls, we select girls who work hard, who are smart, and who can figure it out.” He explained that the players who can’t “figure it out” won’t make it at UConn because expectations are high, the demands of a season are brutal, and there isn’t time to hold every player’s hands. This really resonated with me for several reasons.
First, when I think of every superstar Tignum client we have ever worked with, they had an amazing ability to take our performance strategies (Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, Recovery, and Preparation for Key Events) and to apply them. They quickly figured out how personally being 5% better made those around them 20% better. These Swimmers didn’t hesitate to try new things, to figure out what worked for them, and then to figure out how to make it their new way of performing.
Second, figuring it out is the result of many different Tignum principles that we teach. It requires a High Performance Mindset that includes being a problem solver, being attentive, being a curious insatiable learner, being action-oriented, being open to feedback, and being resilient. It requires doing the things necessary to have high energy, bringing energy to every problem faced, and giving energy to those around them. This requires great habits.
The final reason is as a parent, as a fire captain, as a battalion chief, and as the Chief Performance Officer of Tignum I always tried to instill this in my kids, in my firefighters, and in our coaches. When I reflect on our work with the special forces and the Oakland Raiders, one reason I was so inspired by working with these high performers was because they know how to “figure it out”.
As Q4 approaches and you regroup for the final push of 2015, you may want to double down on the high performance strategies it takes to “figure it out”. This isn’t just a product of luck or of just trying harder. It’s a product of the total integration of Performance Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, Recovery, and Preparation strategies. It’s a product of working smarter, being strategic, and being a Swimmer.
As always, I would love to get your thoughts.
by Scott Peltin
Founder // Chief Performance Officer