Are you waiting for perfect playing conditions?

You might have sunshine, rain, a million things to do or just one.

Whatever the conditions are, they’re just the conditions.

The conditions might be out of your control, but they’re something you need to be ready for.

For elite athletes the playing conditions are simply part of the challenge.


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Exploiting conditions

Elite performers are not constantly waiting for perfect conditions to perform in and then complaining when they’re not. Instead, they’re looking for how the conditions can be exploited to help them more than the competition.

Wet roads may favour the more technically skilled cyclists but not necessarily the fastest. When the conditions are not so good then the mindset is to see how well you can perform in less than perfect conditions.

For most people less than perfect conditions are the norm.

Unfavourable conditions might be an opportunity. An opportunity to test mindset, develop new skills and see how good you can be at responding to the conditions.

And even when the conditions are perfect this isn’t the signal to rest on your laurels. It’s the time to go out, perform at your best and set new standards.

What we see in business

In business we don’t typically see the same attitude towards the conditions.

In business time is spent on setting and then relentlessly pursuing goals. But not on clearly appraising the conditions and considering the implications for achieving targets and goals set.

We also see a different mindset and focus on the less than perfect conditions. More time is spent on – dare we say it – complaining about the conditions and how impossible or difficult it is to perform in them. Rather than accepting them and seeing them as an opportunity for challenge and development.

Our recommendations

Change what you can about the conditions, but otherwise get on with performing.

The demand on the performer or team comes from both the goals – set by the business, team or the individual(s) – and from the conditions in which they need to be achieved. If your world is changing/busy/hectic/under resourced/unpredictable they are simply your playing conditions and a part of your challenge.

Getting your head around that is useful.

And you still have to try and achieve what you’re trying to achieve – in those conditions. This is the elite performer way of thinking, preparing and ultimately performing.