As a coach one of the things that I feared the most was something we called the “trap game.”
What is a trap game?
Just what it sounds like.
It is what appears to be an easy game on your schedule playing an inferior opponent who either does not have a lot of talent or they are struggling. Often, it is missing the hype of the big game that everyone is talking about. As a matter of fact, the most difficult trap games to manage are the ones that fall on your schedule after a big win or before a long-anticipated match up.
When teams face games like this they will usually go through the motions at practice the two days before and pay lip service to getting prepared to play. They aren’t as sharp in their drills, their enthusiasm is half-baked, and they are distracted.
Trust me, it is easy to do, even on the biggest stages. You see it often in college basketball, especially this time of the year.
As a coach you get paranoid… are my guys taking this team too lightly… are they mentally focused… do they think they are better than they are… are they listening to the people around them and believing the headlines?
Then, depending on the mental toughness and maturity level of your team one of two things is going to happen.
You either go out there dialed-in and get the win in a business-like fashion or you live through a 40-minute nightmare where you can never seem to sustain any momentum… you look and feel out of sorts… decision making is slow… you seem to be a step slow getting to your spots, loose balls, and rebounds… and you lose.
Games like this linger, they seem to expose your weaknesses and magnify some challenges that you are having. Teams can start questioning their ability and lose confidence due to an increased level of self-doubt.
What does this have to do with where we are at now and getting off to a fast start in 2022?
Why? Because next week is a trap “week” for some people and you need to make sure you don’t fall into that category.
See, the success you will have in the first week of March is directly related to the quality of work and effort you are putting in today.
It is proven that the level of success you are experiencing today is a direct result of the work you put in 90 days ago.
Next week is a trap week. There are a ton of excuses you can make and some seem reasonable.
Christmas shopping, kids are home and getting work done is a huge challenge, clients and customers seem to be packing it in for the holidays… you get the idea.
Here is what the great ones do… they finish the race. The closeout the year strong, and they realize that the work they are doing next week will drive their success at the beginning of the year.
It takes consistent self-discipline and a commitment to the fundamentals.
Remember, self-discipline drives self-control which raises your level of self-confidence and this leads to self-realization.
Spend time next week thinking about your compelling vision for 2022.
What do you want your world to look like in March? How do you want it to feel? What conversations do you want to be having and with whom? What lead goals will you be closing in on?
Remember, 90 days.
So, if you fall into that trap of thinking next week doesn’t matter… think again.
Enjoy the holiday spirit… heck, sing Christmas carols while you grind… be present with the family and embrace every moment you all share.
And, put in the work!
March will be here before you know it and you absolutely have control over the level of success you will experience then so don’t get sucked into the trap next week.
In Episode 84 Mat Ishbia, President and CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage talked about dominating the goal in front of you and one of the ways to do that is to be dialed into a short-term vision.
Take some time and write down what your short-term vision is for the first three months of 2022. The more detailed you are the better and I want you to think into this vision professionally and personally.
As I mentioned before:
- What does your world look like?
- What does your world feel like?
- What projects will you be working on?
- What lead goals are you closing in on?
- What challenges are you working through?
- What people are you impacting?
- What are you reading, watching, and listening to?
Be intentional about every aspect of your life. I treat each quarter of the business year like it is a 90-Day season and my focus right now is on getting off to a Fast Start.
Attack each day next week with the idea that what you are doing matters and matters big time. The quality of your work will show up in March as you close out your first 90-Day season of 2022.
To help yourself operate with conviction next week, try this… value each time block, call, Zoom meeting, and commitment like it is a critical possession in a basketball game. The better the possession you have, the more momentum you gain, and the stronger your start will be in 2022.
Keep Doing Great Things,
This was originally published as a weekly newsletter from Ed Molitor, with The Molitor Group. If you’d like to receive the weekly newsletter, follow this link to subscribe.