This is a good time to learn about motivation from what is going on in the sporting world. For the next few weeks, teams will be playing for the championship, and this is when the differences in how teams and players think and prepare tell a story that you and I can use to learn more about how to live the lives we want to live.
For example, this weekend, news about a DVD prepared by the Ohio State coaching staff was on the wire. This DVD, designed to motivate the team to play their best, is full of commentators discussing how overmatched the Buckeyes will be when they play for the national championship tonight.
While you can see why coach Jim Tressel might do that, I think he missed a very important element that may just cause it to backfire: the true secret of motivation.
Do YOU know what it is?
Think about what those players had to watch. 10 minutes of pundits and opponents talking about how bad the Buckeyes are and how easy their schedule has been. Basically, saying that they don't belong in the championship game.
Bad enough that one player said it made his grandmother cry.
It made the players mad. But will it motivate them?
It's a pretty negative motivation, at the very least.
It also has the unfotunate side effect of reinforcing any doubts that the team has. One antient text describes this truth this way: "Faith comes by hearing." Have you ever noticed how hearing something enough will make it seem true? That's how it works for us.
What we hear makes a huge difference!
If you watch the game tonight, you'll see whether or not the Buckeyes can overcome this. I expect that if LSU starts off fast and well, it will be a downward spiral for Ohio State.
Let me know what you think...
Stephen Sven Hultquist
PS I just got a few additional copies of OYHwS. Every chapter gives you insight into life truths that you can use. Do you have your copy?