I love this time of the year. NBA Playoff Games are on almost nightly. It’s so interesting to watch how different teams, players and coaches try to use their strategies to win each game. We were watching the Utah Jazz against the Houston Rockets. James Harden gets the ball in the corner, outside the three-point line. Then one of the strangest things happened. Instead of staying between his man and the basket, his defender literally got behind him, to his side. He was almost out of bounds on both the sideline and the baseline. My wife looked at me and asked what he was doing. In all my years of coaching basketball I’ve never tried that defense before, I didn’t know what he was doing. But soon, as the Utah Jazz continued to defend Hardin this way we (and the announcers) started to figure it out. One of James Harden’s most effective moves is the step-back three point shot. He’s deadly! Utah’s strategy was to give Harden the lane to the basket and they would count of the help defense when he did that. But they were not going to allow him to have his step-back three point shot. It really was pretty crazy to watch. Utah ended up losing the series but really, their defensive strategy agains Harden was quite effective, and interesting to say the least.
The series we’ve been watching now has been the Golden State Warriors against the Houston Rockets. I’m a Warriors fan, my wife is a “Whoever is Playing Against the Warriors” fan. So we have fun watching it together. The Warriors have so much talent on their team. The one who stood out to me in the last game (Game 5) was Klay Thompson. He really hasn’t been playing well so far this series. But in this game it took him less than eight minutes to surpass his total scoring from the Game 4. “Klay Thompson is out of his slump!” were the words of the announcers. When I heard this from the announcer it made me think of a lesson I had learned from Tony Robbins which is applicable to sports, business or pretty much anything in life.
What Does It Take To Succeed (from Tony Robbins)
Tony explains that there is a pattern between (1) Potential, (2) Action, (3) Results, and (4) Belief/Certainty. They are all connected as in the diagram below and they create a never ending flow.
As Tony explains how all these are related it makes a lot of sense. But that’s not what I’m going to focus on right now. What I’m going to focus on is what we have to do to get out of a slump. As we go through this pattern, most people don’t reach their full potential because they don’t take massive action. Thus their results are not as good as they could be. Those results then form their belief or certainty, which are lower than what their true potential really is.
Fortunately it works the other way too. As individuals take massive action and produce incredible results their belief and certainty in themselves goes through the roof. Their potential is expanded, followed by more massive actions, more big results, more certainty, etc.
So what do you notice about Klay Thompson, one of the premier shooters in the NBA, when he gets in a shooting slump? He stops shooting? He only looks to pass the ball? That’s what a lot of people would do. But that’s not what the most successful people do. Whether it’s in sports, business or something else, they keep shooting!
When you’re not getting the results you want, you start to doubt yourself, you become uncertain. That’s the beginning of your downward spiral.
To get out of your “slump” you need belief or certainty. But if you’re in a slump, how do you get certainty? You get certainty and change the direction of the downward spiral by getting the results in advance. That is why, when you see an NBA playing in a shooting slump, they don’t stop shooting. They are playing at an elite level. They have been shooting thousands and thousands of shots for years and years. They’ve practiced every possible scenario they could face and they’ve made those shots in practice. When they are missing their shots, they keep shooting because they are certain they can make the next one, they’ve done it millions of times before. And when things start falling for them again, watch out!
It works the same with everything in life. As you put more time and effort into doing things you become more certain in yourself and in turn you see an improvement in your results. So the next time you are in a “slump” keep going. Build your certainty by visualizing all the success you’ve had in the past. Visualize yourself doing it. Your mind does not know the difference between something you vividly imagine emotionally and and something you actually experience if you do it enough times. Believe in yourself, create certainty!