Reflection Friday: 3 things I told my daughter about being a champion

It feels great to hold a trophy. I remember that first time high school basketball team winning regional tournament and having my best game ever. 

As the world converges, competition increases and communication becomes ever more virtual as a dad of 4 I'm reminded of the example I have to be in all areas of my life. How I work, my actions, attitude and the relationships I build. 

It's easy as a parent to give advice as truth and encourage your kids to do what you say. That's why I wrote a counter intuitive blog on the 5 lessons learnt sharing failure with my son. This time I encountered something different with my daughter.

I sat in my daughters room just a few months back playing a card game called Yugioh (those who are parents of young kids may know what I'm talking about). 

We were practicing because her brother kept beating her and they both want to be a champion at this card game. Who knew there were actual real tournaments with prizes for people. She took it seriously and so did I.

Like clever 8 year olds do she stumped me with a question.

"Why is it I can practice and practice and not get any better than others that I play" Gulp! that was my throat swallowing and brain whirring.

My first instinct was simply to say maybe this isn't the game for you. She had other talents I knew would work better but I could see that she really wanted to get better.

I'm not sure if you've ever considered this question but it's more complex than it looks. I've heard the talks on mindset even reviewed the life of champions and their habits. There are so many types of champions. The reality is even those who fully commit to the strategies and practices don't become champions.

I pulled from what I knew and had experienced from winning in sports at University and shared these three things with my daughter.  

  • You have to master the basics and prioritise the things no one does. Simply put everything matters when you're trying to become a champion. I've no idea why early in my sales career I didn't carry the same principles I practiced so passionately when playing basketball. It suddenly made more sense. You have to identify what that baseline is. What are the rules of entry for being great in your area of expertise. What identified skills do you need to amplify. What are the daily habits you need to consider? all of this makes a difference.
  • You have to practice Winning before you play. Practice, Practice, Practice that's all my coach used to say. Or as they say perfect practice makes perfect. You have to be intentional with what you practice and how you practice. For my daughter it was different card strategies and how to use varying combinations together in different scenarios. She would study her cards and I'd see her practicing and playing different cards against herself. I'd then organise for their friends to come around where she'd test those ideas. Because she had started mastering the basics when a strategy didn't work the first time she could more easily adjust to avoid heavy loss.  
  •  Get a vision of the goal, focus on the journey and the result will come. For everything I've read and seen of champions they have a clear and resolute picture of that bright future of holding that trophy, winning that opportunity or ultimately becoming that person they were aspiring to be. While they hold that vision they still pay attention to the journey and daily disciplines needed to make that vision a reality. The daily desire to win even when its hard. The commitment to do whats needed when everyone else chooses to take a break is what sets champions apart. This was the hardest part to teach to my daughter.

Here's the honest truth. I'm still a champion in the making.

I could've told my daughter a lot of things about being a champion because I've read the books and heard the talks.

The best thing I could actually do was be her cheerleader and actually do it the practice with her. For the last 2 months every week my daughter and I have been working on becoming champions. 

You know what I have a strong belief we'll both be holding a trophy a year from now.

Want more inspiration check out the ted talk by Rita Pierson: Every kid needs a champion


If you resonate with what I write Send me a LinkedIn request. If you're a key account manager, sales leader of consultant responsible for and concerned with existing customer retention and growth get connected to my customer growth email series and mailing list HERE. You can start the process of learning a new framework of thinking to growth.  

Jermaine Edwards

Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.