“Competing beats game plans.” Jim Crews, the St. Louis University basketball coach, said this at a clinic I recently attended.
I never thought of this before, but it makes a great deal of sense to me.
As a college basketball coach, I always liked to recruit multi-sport high school athletes, especially the basketball-football combination. I certainly did not limit multi-sport to basketball-football only. Any sport or sports combined with basketball were beneficial.
The primary reason I liked multi-sport athletes was because they learned one overall concept – the most important concept in sport. They learned how to compete.
When I reflect on the best athletes I coached in my 44 years of coaching basketball, there is one recurring theme that unites all of them. They were competitors.
Joey Meyer, the former DePaul University basketball coach, believed there were two kinds of players – performers and competitors. Performers wanted to look good; competitors wanted to win. One year he felt he had more performers than competitors, so he made all of his practice drills competitive.
To be successful in sport you have to have competitors. Game plans are important, but if you don’t have competitors to execute them, you won’t be successful.
In business or any other profession there is failure. If your organization has performers, they may very well quit when times get tough. Competitors continuously get back up and attack the challenge.
Competing does beat game plans.