This post requires your imagination.

You can use a little more money couldn’t you? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pay off your debts or buy whatever you want?

Imagine I was tasked by a Saudi Prince to find someone to give one million dollars a year for the rest of that person’s life and I chose you. But first you have to complete a challenge. Imagine we are in a college’s basketball practice gym standing one end of the court. On the other end of the court is the entrance door and we are facing it.

Here’s the challenge: You must sprint the length of the floor and back in 20 seconds (but there are rules)…

1) You must be in and remain in a racing position to start,

2) The first person who walks in the door wearing an all white shirt (any type) is your cue to sprint,

3) You must sprint to the person get their first and last name and sprint back to me and tell me.

All that within 20 seconds. (The countdown will begin the moment I see the person in the white shirt…so you gotta pay attention, you could get a jump on me!)

….Got it. Now imagine that before you get down in the racing position, I show you the money (your first year’s installment) then put it away. You get into the racing position and you are now staring at the front door waiting. (I want you to really imagine you are doing this.)


If your friends came by, would you break your gaze to talk with them? If they told you to leave with them that moment, would you? Simply, would you be easily distracted?

My bet is NO! You would be so locked-in, nothing else will register in your mind other than a white shirt entering that gym!

What I just explained to you and you just experienced (if you actually did the exercise), is what a winning culture feels like!

When you’re playing your sport or you’re in practice preparing, you should be locked-in just like you were looking for that white shirt. The only difference is that when playing your sport you should be looking for the cues that are relevant for your sport. The cues that demand a response with the right physical action.

But we all know that doesn’t happen right? We allow ourselves to be distracted. We allow others to pull us into funky moods that break the focus. We don’t hold that gaze with expectancy any longer. This happens because you don’t really want to win with the same intensity that you want that money.

You see, some athletes and coaches say that they want to win but the ability to lock-in is what gives you that win and the winning culture. But that’s too much work right? ‘Especially for a game I only love half-way!’ I find that what some athletes and coaches really want is the feeling of winning, they don’t really want to win. They want the feeling of yelling on top of the mountain without actually climbing it!

Here’s a question you should ask everyone on your team including coaches, “Do you want to win or do you just want the feeling at the end?” Anybody can show excitement not everybody can lock-in. 

A winning culture is a mentally tough culture! Did you know that you can train your mind to be really good at that?!


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