One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.Arthur Ashe

This is not the time for the guys in white to be discussing who has responsibility for which sections of the court, is it?

What does that mean?
This is a quote that seems so obvious, but so many people haven’t thought it out. While I have thought similar things, I was never able to put it so eloquently. It starts by saying that one of the biggest parts of being successful is to have self confidence. Yeah, that’s almost obvious on it’s own, right?

Here’s where it gets more interesting, where he couples the self confidence with preparation. There are many ways to be self confident, but preparation, and actually being ready, is probably the single best way to have true and lasting confidence, and therefore, success. Other paths to self confidence may seem quicker and easier, but preparation is practically unshakable.

Why is preparation important?  
As usual, the Boy Scout in me is shaking his head. However, preparation, in the sense of this quote, is about practice. A lot of practice. The author of the quote was a world class tennis pro. That’s rare air, and a place where practice, preparation, and self confidence is required if one is to expect any level of success.

What is even more interesting (at least to me), is the level of preparation necessary for winning regularly in both singles and doubles play. In singles, it’s just you. You don’t have to work with anyone else. In doubles, it’s you and your partner. The two of you need to think and act as one to keep the court properly covered.

There is only one way to get that level of preparation. Practice. Lots of practice. But the payout is confidence, both in your partner and the team. If you don’t have that confidence, you’re going to start trying to pickup what you see as their weakness, and they will notice. Not exactly confidence building, is it?

Where can I apply this in my life?
I won’t go over how to be prepared on your own. You probably already have a clue how to do that. But how well do you play with others? Where in your life do you rely on being part of a team? Family, friends, sports, work, these are all possibilities.

For me, this is a difficult thing to do. Not making a list of possibilities, but to work with people. I think very linearly, and generally plan things out in a manner that relies on just myself. Mostly that’s because I’m a rock-solid introvert, and don’t often mix with others, unless they need my help (or the reverse).

Recently, my daughter wanted to enter her school’s science fair project. She even knew what she wanted to build. She made the parts list from a plan she found in Make Magazine, and we went out and purchased the parts (with minor changes due to availability of parts).

However, what followed was a real lesson for me. I had to allow her to do as much as was physically safe for her to do. That meant holding the parts while she sawed and drilled. It wasn’t that I was worried about being injured, I just wasn’t used to having someone else doing the work and me being the helper. Usually, if anyone helped at all, they were the helper. I wasn’t used to being on a team in the garage!

Grab some paper and write down some of the team activities you are involved in. If you have a ‘significant other,’ that’s probably one of the more important teaming efforts. Other teams might include support groups, close friends, sports teams, working groups (at work or socially). The list can go on for quite a while. Did you realize you were such a team player? I know I didn’t!

For each person in the team, briefly write down what do you do, and what do they do? Where is there overlap? Where do you cover for someone else? Where do others cover for you? Select one of your more important teams and write down those details. How well does the team work? Does one cover for another when something gets dropped, or do they always have to cover?

Teamwork requires some level of cooperation, mutual understanding of assignments, and lots of practice. Imagine a football team where the fullback thought his only job was to run the ball, and never block. Is there going to be some teamwork problems in the backfield, some resentment and difficulty in execution of plays?

What can be done to make sure everyone is clear on their assignments, or is your team already doing well on that score? Are you sure, have you asked to find out if you’re all on the same page? That fullback might be sure everything is fine, too.

Teamwork requires practice as well. How will you get this working in real life? It’s easy in sports, because nearly everyone understands that’s how it works. Getting buy-in from a non-sports team, that might be a little trickier. How do you ‘practice’ teamwork around the house with your mate? There is no right answer, it will be up to your team to figure out what to do.

If you want to be sure that your team will have success when things get tough, all of you will need to have confidence. The best way to do that is with preparation. That’s why you have practice fire drills, right?

From: Twitter, @quotepage
confirmed at :
Photo by Rafael Amado Deras


About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in confidence, cooperation, improve, preparation, repetition, success and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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