In the Art of War by Sun Tzu I find that some of the things that SunTzu says apply to athletics. In a portion of his writings Sun Tzu explains that ‘seeing victory only when the masses do does not reveal the true height of excellence. Excellent victory is seen before the engagement, by placing oneself in an undefeatable position with the strength of mind to not miss the moments the opponent gives you for their own defeat.’

Every opponent that you face this season will always give you a chance to beat them. A good team takes advantage of those chances, a great team sees them coming, and an excellent team causes those chances to manifest.

When the Art of War spoke of excellence one of the ideas that remained with me was that of making yourself impossible for defeat by using what you know about your game, yourself and your opponent.

Having a wining culture in any sport program has to go further than the power generated from positive thinking. The motivation garnered from that concept must be channeled into heavy skill work, especially, as Sun Tzu would say, on defense.

Remember, all opponents are looking for the moments you yourself will give for YOUR OWN defeat; if your defense isn’t undefeatable, then you will be putting fires out instead of starting them.

If you take the time and hard work to make sure of this, then the game becomes elevated in your mind and you begin having fun because competing has become effortlessly intense. Like a cat playing with a caught mouse.

Wouldn’t you like to approach every game feeling like that??

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