|Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 9
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"THREE KEYS TO HIGH PERFORMANCE" - (JACK CLARK PART EIGHT)
John Wooden Video Clip (2 min. 14 sec.): What did your father teach you about dealing with adversity?
In a podcast for the Orrick Law firm, Jack Clark, who has led the University of California's Rugby teams to 28 National Championships in 33 years, described three of the keys to a high performance team:
1. NO BLIND SPOT
I don't think that the very best teams can have a blind spot, can have an area that's important that they don't have competence in. I don't believe that there's shortcuts. I believe you have to check all the boxes. If you just want to be in the upper half of the table; you want to maybe not be just mediocre. There probably are a few things. Just don't do this, and do that, and you know you're going to be okay. The requirements for being among the best teams are different.
2. NO BAD APPLES
Now, with that said, talent becomes important. There was a legendary football coach that died about 10 years ago named Bo Schembechler at Michigan. He had this quote that I think is great. It had to do with recruiting and who you want on your team. He said, "Well, if you ever really want a guy and you don't get him, that's OK. He'll only beat you once a year." I think that's kind of catchy. Then this old boy cleared his throat and said, "On the other hand, if you get the wrong guy on your team, he'll beat you every day." We want talent on the team, but one wrong guy? That can really hurt you.
3. MAKE STRESS YOUR FRIEND
There is a debilitating stress that we don't wish on anybody. That's a serious condition that we have to protect people from. But there's also a friendly stress, the stress of wow, I don't have all the answers. Wow, I'm running out of time. Wow, these other guys are pretty good. It helps us grow. It puts us under a pressure that once we repair ourselves, in the same way a muscle repairs itself. It grows. It gets stronger. And I think you becomes acclimated to it. You can make friends with stress. I think that there's a healthy amount of stress that helps us grow. If I don't have any stress I'm probably not trying very hard. I think we should have a big appetite for more, we should feel like that we're out over our skis, and we don't have all the answers all the time, and that we grow from that.
Does your team have a blind spot? Is there a bad apple? Has everybody made stress their friend?
Yours in Coaching,
There isn't any business,' wailed the sad and gloomy man;
Edgar Allen Guest (1881-1959)
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