Sugar cookies, starting small, persuasion and mentors

sent by Nick Grantham | 2nd February 2021

"Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward."

William H. McRaven

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A couple of years ago, I read Make Your Bed and suggested that my teenage daughter benefit from reading it! Any parent of adolescent children can imagine the look I was given! Fast forward to a couple of days ago when my still teenage daughter says, "Dad, have you got a book called Make Your Bed?" I have no idea why she suddenly wanted to read it, but I gladly handed her my copy. One of my favourite stories comes in chapter four, where former Navy Seal, William H. McRaven, describes how being a sugar cookie? really tests your patience and determination. The Sugar Cookie treatment is a punishment doled out indiscriminately, at the whim of the instructor, whether or not trainees have actually done anything wrong. Navy Seal trainees are ordered into the sea, and then roll around in the sand until they are entirely covered in fine white sand and then remain like that for the rest of the day. According to McRaven, at some point during Seal training, every trainee has the pleasure of becoming a sugar cookie. The point of the chapter was to highlight that in life, shit is going to happen. Sometimes it will be our fault, but most of the time, shit will land on us indiscriminately. Once covered in the brown smelly stuff, we have a choice to make. We can complain about it, blame others for our misfortune or think it's fate, or we can learn the 'Sugar Cookie' lesson, and as McRaven says, "stand tall, look to the future, and drive on!"

Source: Make Your Bed by William H.McRaven

"Planning starts big to small. Habit building starts small to big."

Richard Nugent

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It doesn't matter if you're planning to win an Olympic medal, save for retirement, land a dream job, return from injury or fit into a pair of skinny jeans; any planning process will begin with an outcome goal. An outcome goal is often the driving force and is typically linked to the end result. Outcome goals paint the big picture, and most people paint outstanding outcome goal pictures. But the reason most plans fail is that little if any, consideration is given to the more boring but vitally important performance and process goals that underpin any successful project. Performance goals set the standards or targets you need to achieve on your way toward the outcome goal. Process goals are the small daily habits that we need to build to hit our performance goals and ultimately that big, hard to reach outcome goal. So have a big scary goal but make sure you put in place the small habits that will help you create change.

Source: The Strength and Conditioning Bible by Nick Grantham

"Stories are just data with soul."

Brene Brown

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If you want to persuade an athlete to incorporate strength and conditioning into their training schedule, you could run through all of the logical reasons why it's a good idea and back everything up with science. Then, crack open the spreadsheet and go for it! This approach may work, but if you want to improve the chances of your recommendations landing, you should consider planting your ideas using stories and emotion. Carmine Gallo explains in his book, Talk Like Ted that "you simply cannot persuade through logic alone." Our brains process complex information within stories more effectively. Even science shows 'brain to brain coupling' or a deep connection between the storyteller and the person listening. When we move beyond logic and spreadsheets and connect with our athletes on a deeper level, we are far more likely to stand a chance of persuading them that shifting some tin is a good idea?! So, if you want to talk data, give it some soul!

Source: TEDx Houston 2010 - The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

"Successful people in nearly every field know they can't be their best unless they have a good coach in their corner.?"

Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

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The Grantham's love settling down on a Saturday night to watch The Voice. The difference between this and other talent shows is the contestants are all good right off the bat. They can all sing (there are no toe-curling audition performances on this show). But to win the show, you can't just be good. You need to be great, so each singer teams up with a coach. The show has four coaches (my favourite is Sir Tom Jones) who work with the singers and guide them through the remainder of the competition. And guess what? They go from being good singers to being bloody amazing singers. In his book, Never Eat Alone, Keith Ferrazzi says that "mentoring is one of the most effective strategies to get the best out of every individual." So if you want to go from being good to being bloody amazing, go out and get a coach in your corner!

Source: Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

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