There’s nothing like a game day experience to observe the Mindset of a Champion. And nothing compares to the Big Game. Last weekend I had the chance to experience it first-hand. In an emotionally charged, rollercoaster contest, the Kansas City Chief’s overcame a 10-point deficit with 7 minutes to go to win Big Game 54. Only two other teams in history have overcome that large of 4th quarter deficit. As a fan in the stands, it was thrilling to watch sparks of momentum turn into flames of glory.
From the start of the game, it was clear that two of the best teams in the league were pitted against each other in this matchup. The Niner’s formidable defensive game gave the Chief’s high scoring and lightning fast offense a challenge. But the Chiefs stayed close and mentally tough. One play, a 3rd down conversion, late in the 4th quarter was the turning point. After that play the momentum shift from one team to another and even from one fan to another was palpable (there were two very nice Niner fans sitting next to me). I later listened to ‘mic’d up’ highlights of the game and the shift change was audibly validated from comments on both sides. Did the Chief’s suddenly improve their skills? Did their game-plan change? Did they do something technically different? No. They were mentally prepared to overcome adversity in the moment.
Does winning on Big Game day all come down to the one with the best mindset? Throughout this series I have reviewed practices to optimize mental readiness that then allows skills and technical abilities to thrive. Professional teams and corporations alike spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on ubiquitous skill and technical training that opens the door for success. When the game is on the line, when all things are equal, what matters most is how you show-up. That is the Mindset of a Champion.