Home Forums Topics Culture INTENSIVE: Building Competition

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    Hi all, thought I start a thread for us to share our work defining and operationalizing competitive principles into our programs. ( @Lisa O’Mearamight want to break this out as you did before)

    To start, (and by request), here’s what I shared in Class Two as my first working model defining it for my program. I also drilled down in  a 1st attempt to make it concrete. I’ve shared that too, but now believe that second section needs to evolve into a more concrete, performance-based direction.

    Eager to hear from everybody! ?


    “Competition gives you the opportunity to be your best when your best is called for.”. – John Wooden. 

    Rise to the occasion.

    A Competitor is Locked In, Wide Open, and Hungry for the Moment.

    1. Locked In

      1. Fully present
      2. Undistracted
      3. Calm, receptive mind
    2. Wide Open

      1. Outwardly focused
      2. Alert to change
      3. Comfortable in chaos
      4. Ready for what’s next
    3. Hungry for the Moment

      1. Poised for Action
      2. Looking to Take Advantage
      3. Driven by Fun


    1.  A Timberwolf Competitor:

      1. Prepare for practice (Lock in self)

        1. Early
        2. Pre-practice routine
        3. Sweating at the 1st whistle
      2. Power team into drills (Lock in others)

        1. Hustle (be 1st)
        2. Organize for advantage (more reps)
      3. Hungry when coached (Wide open self)

        1. Lock in

          1. Eyes, body, ball
        2. Want help
        3. Care about who’s giving it
      4. Give Reminders (Wide open to others)

        1. Before they are needed
      5. Eat film (Hungry for the moment to learn)

        1. Notebook open in class
        2. Budget time at home
        3. Always ask coach 1 thing (#letsgetbetter)
      6.    F.  Win every drill (Hungry for the moment of competition)

        1. Give your best to get the best
        2. Push limits, yours and teammates
        3. Own your growth

          1. Challenge others, and make sure they challenge you




    Nelson thanks for sharing this.  This is some powerful words here to inspire.


    That’s powerful stuff, Nelson. Many thanks for sharing. It really does help me myself drill down further seeing and understanding how others are. 

    And, also, a general thanks for all your contributions on the live learnings and intensives. Always insightful. 

    And particular thanks today for your comments in reply to my query at the end of this last session! Greatly appreciated. 


    Nelson, just some thoughts after walking the dog! ?

    You reference communication – give reminders, always ask the coach 1 thing and challenge others, make sure they challenge you. I’m just wondering if you maybe want to be a bit more specific in how they communicate. 

    I guess I’m thinking about how they frame their communication and how they receive it. Perhaps under the heading ‘Wide Open (to others)’. Or Hungry for the Moment – hungry for feedback, hungry to help their teammates in the moment. 

    I’m probably picking up on this because communication is a big part of what I’m trying to articulate. So apologies if I’m going off on a tangent to your intent. 

    Again, thank you for sharing! ? 


    I love dog thoughts. ?

    You’ve called out a great spot for me to drill down on. thanks. Some of this is shorthand for already defined communication:

    1) “Giving reminders” is a PGC staple I’ve taught from day one.

    2) “Asking 1 thing” I imagined as an active engagement with Coach on the Hudl platform, which would demonstrate to me that they were actively engaging with film to some degree (a POE for me this year).

    3) I didn’t think of “challenging…” as a communication piece (meant it performatively), but you’re exactly right that communication should be a part of it.

    I appreciate your feedback on this work in progress. I’m also thinking about how to increase the amount of actionable, performative elements that can be more easily tracked (without increasing complexity or length), per @Sam Allen‘s suggestion. I’m hoping to refine this until each element is a foundational key to unlocking a whole lot of desirable behaviors.

    Input welcome! Thanks!

    Justin Gerstung

    Thanks for this share!!!

    So many great ideas that reinforce what I already believe… love the way you have it laid out… As Atomic Habits would say though… i need to put in action, right now I am just in motion.

    Thanks!  Talk to you soon!!!!

    On 6/26/2020 at 4:40 PM, Justin Gerstung said:

    i need to put in action, right now I am just in motion.

    Love this.

    The part I didn’t share before is a “question tree” I developed to teach it in discussion. I feel if I can’t boil a teaching like this down to a 15 discussion, it’s too complicated to be useful. Since you brought it up, it looks like this (still WIP):


    •    1.  What is competition?

      •    A.  Wooden quote
    •    2.  What is a Competitor?

      •    A.  Distill Responses
      •    B.  Offer Team definition
    •    3.  what is “Locked in” during a game?

      •    A.  How often?
      •    B.  Dead ball?
      •    C.  Soft transition (jog back)?
      •    D.  WS offense?
      •    E.  Different during playoffs? End of game? Start of game? Behind? Ahead?
    •    4.  How do you train that? (key question)
    •    5.  What is it to be “wide open” in a game (or life)?

      •    A.  Why aren’t we “wide open” all the time?

        •    a.  Vulnerable, chaos of life.
      •    B.  How would you train that?
      •    C.  What would it look like to be wide open more often? (When possible in life?)
    •    6.  What is it to be “hungry for the moment”?

      •    A.  Physically?

        •    a.  Health? Nutrition/energy? Preparation? Stance?
      •    B.  Mentally?

        •    a.  (Emotionally? Attitudinally?)
    •    7.  When have you been “hungry for the moment”?

      •    A. how can we train this?
    •  8.  What kind of “triggers” or “reminders” would help us be more competitive more often?
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