Sports performance and sales, what's the connection? Physically, not much, but mentally, a lot. The qualities required for both the athlete and the sales agent to excel in the field are the same, tenacity, persistence, winning attitude and self belief. Many athletes fail to win because a lack of belief, in their own minds they don't believe that they can win, they are paralyzed by the fear of losing, they are not able to harness their inner fears. Before a football game the coach always goes over all the different things that every player must do in order for the team to win, a lot of it is motivation and strategy, convince the players that they can win (the good ones don't need convincing). It's the same in the morning meeting, the manager's job is to convince the players (the sales agents) that they can win, a lot of it is motivation (the good ones don't need convincing).
Sports top performance is dictated only by what we can see in our minds.
The things that are being achieved today in the sports field were in the past thought of as impossible. The same thing will happen in the next 50 years, people will do things that today we cannot do, or believe we can do. If we could see ourselves doing those things today, then we would do it today.
In the above examples both the athlete and the sales agent suffer the same fears, anxieties and negative feelings. How they handle those negative feelings, especially the fear of losing, will dictate how successful they will be in their careers.
Cus D'Amato, famous boxing trainer (he was Mike Tyson's trainer and mentor) said that, "Fear is a friend of exceptional people. Fear is like a fire. If you control it, as we do when we heat our houses, it is a friend. When you don't, it consumes you and everything you do and everything around you."
These days there are more and more athletes excelling at all types of sports and doing things that a few years ago would seem impossible. The reasons for this are big advancements in nutrition, kinesiology and the understanding that human accomplishments are only limited by our own minds (unfortunately big advances in chemistry as well, we hear about it all the time on the news, that's what I call to be tempted by the Dark side of the Force (I will go into this in more detail in another chapter)).
Sports records are the result of superior mind training more so than physical training (mind over matter). In sport, like in sales, the winner takes it all. Below are the world records of some well known sports, recent records and also of about 50 years ago:
24 August 1958 - 2:15:18 - Sergei Popov from Soviet Union
28 September 2008 - 2:03:59 - Haile Gebrsellassie from Ethiopia
Swim - 400 metres freestyle
7 February 1959 - 4:19.00 - John Conrads from Australia
26 July 2009 - 3:40.07 - Paul Biedermann from Germany
Clean and Jerk - Olympic lift
1960 Olympics, Rome - 202.5 Kg - Yury Vlaslov from Russia
2004 Olympics, Athens - 263.5 Kg - Horsein Reza Zadeh from Iran
25 March 1967 - 279.54 Kg - Pat Casey from USA
8 November 2008 - 488.64 Kg - Ryan Kennelly from USA
6 December 1969 - 320 Kg - George Frenn from USA
19 January 2008 - 567 Kg - Vlad Alhazov from Russia
In the next 50 years all these records will be beaten, by how much depends only in the capacity for the human mind to dream and achieve.