When you watch a basketball game you begin to notice the real champions who seem to have eyes in the back of their heads. They are the ones with court awareness.
It's like mindfulness on steroids.
Court awareness is about really paying attention to what is happening moment by moment. It's not possible to play a great game and be smacking yourself internally for a dumb move made moments before.
If even for a moment, you feel sorry for yourself and look down in a position of disappointment, you lose. Keep your head up and you can be more fully aware of what is happening in the present moment. You can make better decisions and increase the possibility of success.
Watch the best players, they keep their chins up, a sign of courage and competence.
Here are five keys to success on the court, the cubicle, the corporation, or in your thriving start-up.
- Technical Skills: This is the foundation of your craft. The better your skills the more confident you feel. You no longer are at the mercy of someone judging you. You know you are good and you stay centered and yes, confident. The noise in your head, that judging voice, the one that creates doubt, is pushed aside and ignored.
- Attention: You stay alert to what is in front of you. You are aware of the present problems and you take a deep breath to solve each issue as it comes up. A clue that you have to clean up the same problem over and over means you are ignoring the symptoms of pattern repetition. Then it is no longer a problem, it is a pattern and requires deeper understanding of the ingrained, outdated behaviors that are still with you from your past.
- Court Awareness: Seeing the larger picture. Knowing your teammates and how to respond to them. Being able to anticipate who can show up and do what you need at the right moment is a high level ability to read your team mates and the situation.
- Pattern Recognition: This goes with decision-making. We all make decisions in milliseconds, and learning to read the pattern and know which ones lead to success and which lead to defeat, is crucial. Each life situation is like a play on the basketball court. It has some elements of repetition and yet, in the moment it is never exactly the same as the past. Life flows and great basketball and great business takes this into consideration. Remember, if you keep repeating the same destructive patterns, you ultimately lose.
- Experience: Learn in all kinds of situations. You need a variety of activities to master the people part of any team activity. Being mindful and flexible and learning, really learning what makes your colleagues and teammates be the best, is how you go from average to extraordinary.
There is such a thing a muscle memory. When you increase your skills, learn mindfulness techniques, become aware of everyone you are in contact with, pay attention to the patterns at play (this absolutely separates the top ranks from the rest) and write what you learn in each situation, you will develop the right speed to make the right decisions at the right time. Not easy but definitely worth the effort.