• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, July 16, 2024

An Underrated but Essential Success Criterion in Sport & Business

By: David Kargman, @Kargman_SAP

There is no playbook that will guide you to success within the Sports & Entertainment arena. You have the opportunity to create your own path and leave a trail. Cliché perhaps, but in my opinion, valid. Each person’s journey is unique, and the steps taken vary drastically from individual to individual. With this said, one common thread successful people demonstrate along their journey is an unmatched level of preparedness. As former Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach once said, “Spectacular achievements are always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”

Similar to high performing athletes, successful business people in any industry have an intrinsic detail orientation and level of preparedness unmatched by their peers. For athletes, this is both physical and mental, whereas for people in the business world, it’s more heavily weighted on the mental side. In any case, having an understanding of the mindsets of these successful people can only help when embarking on your personal journey in sport or business.

This concept was introduced to me at an early age; growing up in a sports-oriented home, the majority of my family competed in collegiate athletics. My father also began a trucking company after college, and I’m proud to say the company is successfully approaching its 40th year. I share this because I’ve seen firsthand the importance and outcome of hard work, attention to detail, and mental preparedness. Throughout my life I’ve tried mirroring this approach both athletically and professionally.

On a recent vacation, these concepts were validated to me after I read a performance psychology book called “The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive” by Jim Afremow. I found many that there were many connections between how great athletes prepare, how that translates to business, and vice versa. In the book, Jim interviews countless athletes and former Olympians and gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how they became top performers. An important piece of the athletes’ successes came from their level of preparation. Being able to visualize different scenarios prior to execution is a key part of mentally preparing. In his book, Jim referenced a veteran NFL punter who for 10 minutes every other day used deep breathing to relax himself. He mentioned that the player would “see and feel” himself executing successful punts in a variety of game situations and weather conditions (using best, average, and worst case scenarios). He used imagery as a mental walk-through. To take it a step further, the player would picture himself at the specific stadium to get a sense of comfort mentally prior to game day. This allowed him to live in the moment and trust his preparation. In business, this level of preparation should be no different. Getting the layout of the room prior to a presentation, rehearsing your pitch, role playing with Q&A, and other techniques can serve us all well once the lights come on.

In addition to the stories, Jim offers a variety of insightful sports psychology adages throughout the book. When describing mental toughness and anxiety management, Jim offers various strategies to channel anxiety into a commitment to taking that next step. He says “Remember that FEAR means to Face Everything and Respond.” To perform at a champions level, he says you must let the butterflies fly in formation. If you happen to respond and the outcome isn’t what you expected, it’s an opportunity for personal growth. As my late grandfather used to say, “FAIL = First Attempt in Learning”. What attracts me to the countless stories Jim shares is that they are those you don’t necessarily hear on Sports Center, as these techniques aren’t as captivating as a slam dunk or a walk-off home run. However, these techniques are imperative to putting yourself in a position to make these outcomes a reality.

To close, I truly believe everyone has the opportunity to create their own path and have success within the Sports & Entertainment field — whether it’s as an athlete or business person. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, therefore it’s critical to maximize every interaction you have with a coach, client, or colleague to create your own. As one of my favorite sayings goes, “Everyone has the desire to win, but only champions have the desire to prepare.” To reach that ultimate state of gratification, whether it’s hitting that home run, closing a deal or simply getting a next meeting, paying attention to detail and committing yourself mentally will be paramount to your success.

I welcome your thoughts on this and other success criteria you deem supreme.

Thanks for your time, and good luck!

Mr. Kargman is currently an Industry Value Advisor at SAP supporting their Media, Sports & Entertainment industry. SAP is the world’s largest enterprise software company. In his role, Mr. Kargman is tasked with supporting Sales by providing industry expertise and executing fact-based business cases with customers and prospects that support investment in SAP technology. For more information, please visit SAP’s Solution Explorer for Sports & Entertainment.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Emmanuel Acho Set To Land Solo Show on Fox Sports

Rising star Emmanuel Acho is poised to land his own solo show at Fox Sports, say sources. He currently co-hosts FS1’s ‘Speak for Yourself.’

Varsity Partners Steps Up the Sponsorship Game with TBT Teams

TBT has thrived on innovation and forward thinking through its seven year existence —including being the first indoor U.S. sporting event to return to action during the pandemic with a 24 team bubble in Columbus,Ohio —brand sponsorships for teams was the next opportunity for growth.

Executive Roundtable: Putting Employees First

Best Employers in Sports, Charlotte Hornets, Miami Dolphins, remote work, diversity, inclusion, COVID-19, leadership, career development

Putting Fans At The Center of Your Data Strategy Post-COVID

The Portland Trail Blazers are one example of an organization offering a more personalized customer experience thanks to data.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB Draft, ASG Highlight Teams’ Shifting Approach


Featured Today

Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 8, 2024

NFLPA Report Cards Have Become the ‘Talk of the Locker Room’ Across..

NFLPA report cards have become the ‘talk of the locker room.’
July 7, 2024

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.

How Sportradar and the NBA are Partnering to Fuel Fan Engagement

How Sportradar and the NBA are utilizing data to enhance fan engagement
April 25, 2023

Oakland A’s Could Share Stadium with Triple-A Team

The Oakland A’s could be searching for a place to play.

MLS’ Chris Schlosser on Pioneering the Digital-First Sports League with AI

Chris Schlosser discusses MLS’s growth and digital transformation.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
Titans stadium.
April 19, 2023

Titans’ Historic New $2.1B Stadium One Step Closer to Reality

About $1.26B in public money would go toward the new stadium.
May 20, 2022

Crypto Crash Impact on Sports Sponsorships

Prior to the last two weeks, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, exchanges, and a host…
March 11, 2022

The Evolution of Consumer Wearables

The wearables market has seen incredible amounts of growth since the onset of the pandemic. Trends like telemedicine and remote patient monitoring have helped spur adoption and inspired new consumer products that allow for the tracking and collection of biometric data.
February 11, 2022

The Role of Live Sports in Streaming

The streaming wars have intensified as the field is as competitive as ever. One way to retain customers? The answer might be live sports.