Win on Conditioning

Massachusetts high school state soccer tournament. Round of 16. My son's soccer team, defending state champs, was down 3-1 at the half, having scored only in the last few minutes of the first half.

Looking the second half, their coach said, “Simple plan. Score one goal in the first 20 minutes. One goal in the next 10. And one goal in the last 10.”  And they did, scoring the winning goal with 7 minutes to go, running their unbeaten streak to 31 games over two seasons and a berth in the quarter finals.

How can this be? One of the chief reasons is physical and mental stamina.  I recall my son returning home after the first week of grueling August practice, croaking, “Coach says, we’ll win on conditioning.” On November 10, they did…again.  The other guys ran out of gas while ours continued to play fast through the full second half.

Same idea applies to us.  It’s now November and many of us are 10 ½ months into our 12 month competitions.  Some of us are dragging a bit. We need to be sharp, agile, creative, and energetic – well enough conditioned to maintain our pace and engage our clients and prospects for a full 12 months. 6 more weeks to go.

What could “conditioning” or “reconditioning”  look like to sales people?  In addition to running or other cardiovascular exercise and (ahem) constant practice of technique, our indisputable expert source, the November Harvard Business Review (page 64),  offers suggestions to stimulate our brains and maintain our health and stamina (and don’t laugh when you get to the parts about nourishing food and rest):

  • Read funny books — humor promotes insight and health. I’ll add:  Read, period – news, current best sellers, biographies, The Economist.  Just read.
  • Play games – Games like bridge, chess, sudoku, or cross word puzzles build patience as well as stimulate brain cells.
  • Expand our business trips — Visit a museum, talk to some of the locals, take a walking tour, or add on a day or so of vacation.
  • Try new technologies — Play with goofy YouTube videos or iGadgets to stimulate our neural passages.
  • Learn something new – Learn a new language,  a new instrument, or a new sport. The challenge gives our brains a big boost
  • Act out – Try “Improv” theater to expand our behavioral repertoires. In Boston and in other cities, there are improv classes that “non-actors” can join. They’re terrific.
  • Rest (healthy sleep habits) and eat well (stop laughing!)

In short: Learning, play, rest, and good food.. Give yourself the best so you can maintain or increase your pace all the way through year end.

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