100 Straight Victories and the Power of Focus
Salt Lake City, Utah hosted a first-ever International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Tier One event with the MonaVie Salt Lake City Pro/Am during the 2010-2011 IRT Season. As you may recall, Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002, and world class skiing events are frequently held here, but this was the first time that the best racquetball players in the world came to Salt Lake to compete. Racquetball is not a huge spectator sport, and there weren’t tens of thousands of spectators in attendance, but I felt this event had all of the elements of a great sporting event.
I first became active in this sport (as a very amateur player) because my seventeen year old son loves the game. We play racquetball together, and even though he is beating me consistently, I would not trade the one-on-one time with my son for anything.
This three-day event culminated with the Pro Finals at 5:00 pm on Saturday. Most of the players and spectators gathered courtside to watch these amazing athletes go head-to-head for the prize money and bragging rights. Kane and Rocky, the number one and number two players in the world, would square off for the best of five games. At first it was the speed of the game that blew my mind, then the athleticism and the amazing shots that were hit and returned. But during the third game with Kane leading I started to notice something that really caught my attention.
With each bounce of the ball, Kane was totally focused on the movements. Between points Rocky would bounce the ball five or six times, and then hit it off the side wall with the ball returning to his hand prior to the serve. Kane’s eyes would follow each bounce— his focus was unwavering as his eyes would follow the ball to the side wall then back to his opponent’s hand. Rocky would serve the ball with a drive that would ACE 99% of the players in the world, but somehow Kane would be there in anticipation of the serve, and he would return it with what seemed like ease and roll it out. The rallies were short as Kane slowly but methodically won the majority of the points. In the end it was his clear focus and athletic ability which allowed for another victory! This was his 100th straight win as a pro, an amazing record. At the end of the match, a huge celebration erupted as the crowd held up signs saying “100th win” and the cameras went crazy. Kane pumped both fists in the air and celebrated with his wife and the crowd on this awesome milestone.
So what does this have to do with real estate? Let me explain what this accomplishment taught me.
It was the focus between the points that caught my attention. As a business consultant and coach I find myself looking deep into the business and lives of the top producing agents and brokers that I am honored to work with. I see similar characteristics in the champions of real estate as I saw that day with the best of the best racquetball players in the world. They have clear focus, not just when they are playing the game, but between each listing, closing, buyers, phone call or e-mail. These superstars take time each day to focus on what is important and they have a clear vision about what they want to accomplish. Because of their clear focus they put themselves in a position to win.
Here are a few lessons learned that can help each of us find that focus and create more victories in our lives and our business.
- Know what it is you want to accomplish and build your plan. For Kane it was the 100th straight win. What is your milestone or goal this year? How clearly is it defined?
- Spend quiet time each day focusing on the critical things that require your undivided attention. This could be prospecting, reading, meditating, designing your marketing, or calling past clients
- Get in shape physically and mentally and be prepared for each day’s matches and battles
- When you are in the game, focus on the task at hand, don’t be distracted by all the noise, the cheers, or even the nay-sayers. Have laser-like focus on the ball until you hit the kill shot and win the point
- Last, but not least, celebrate your victories with the people you love and enjoy your successes. Life is too short to wait for a bigger win. Celebrate each milestone and victory and allow the ones who love you to celebrate with you.
I met Kane and Rocky, and I can honestly say they are both true ambassadors of the sport. They were gracious with the fans and they gave back to the sport that has created a living for both of them. But for me, they shared a new secret, a new perspective and a new method for success. They taught me what it really means to focus, and for that I am grateful.
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