Twelve months before competing in the Olympics I seized a chance to train with some of the best speed skiers in the world: The French. During this time, there was one day that changed my life.
It was a snow day. This means it snowed too much for us to train outside.
Near the base of Les Arc 2000, 22 athletes assembled in a gymnasium.
Remember, these are amazing human beings in peak physical aptitude and condition.
Allow me to translate what the coach said. “Get on this rope and walk the length of it.”
Each of us took a turn a mere 18 inches off the floor. Zero progress. Only side to side flopping of arms that would make Kermit the Frog envious.
Phillipe Goitschel (next year he won the silver medal) flailed. He couldn’t stay on the rope.
Finally, after 45 minutes, as everybody had multiple tries, no one succeeded.
The coach bided his time until his teaching moment broke the frustration.
“STOP! Stop looking at the rope. STOP LOOKING AT THE ROPE!!” He stared at each person surrounding him. “Look at a point where you want to end up. Do not take your eyes off that.”
Phillipe pushed to the front and hopped up. He alternated between looking at the rope and looking at a point on the wall. He failed to advance.
“STOP!” urged the coach. “Just look at the point on the wall where you want to end up. The rope will always be underneath you. Your feet will always be at the end of your legs. Just focus on the point you have chosen.”
Phillipe locked in on a peg at eye level. Et voila. He virtually glided to the end of the rope.
Within ten minutes, 22 athletes went from being unable to walk even five feet on the rope, to walking the length of the rope, turning around, and coming back.
Just by changing the focus.
Are you laser-focused on the exact point you wish to go or are you concerned about where you may fail? Look up and go.
#focus #leadershipskills #salesskills #inspiration #setbacktobreakthrough