UCLA Legendary Basketball coach John Wooden famously stated this belief many years ago and you can apply it to any sporting activity and also to any activity in your life. If you do the small and seemingly simple tasks well, you will find the bigger and seemingly more difficult tasks are easier to complete. It doesn’t matter what sport you watch, simply get some low priced tickets to watch a professional team play and if they are a good team they will consistently demonstrate this tenant.
The first “little thing”, that you will notice is that everyone on a successful team always seems to know what job they should be doing, and does it extremely well. In football, the New England Patriots have had continual success because they follow this axiom to a fault. The defensive players focus on their job, doing all of the dirty work to put the offense in the best possible position to succeed. There are players on their team whose only job is to sprint for forty five yards and hit someone as hard as they can. Not a glamorous job but a necessary one. By doing this little job it allows the team to win. Offensive linemen work extremely hard to protect the quarterback, or forge holes for the running back. They toil in complete anonymity, unless they make a mistake. I know that two weeks in a row I bought below face value seats at Gillette Stadium and only saw one penalty on an offensive lineman in that time. They certainly typify doing the little things that make the big things possible.
One of the little things that I constantly focused on as a player and as a coach was to put people in a position to help their teammates and allow them to perform to the best of their abilities. Sometimes it is a pass in just the right place, or a word of encouragement when things don’t go completely right. One thing is certain. If you don’t provide support when things are going wrong, you shouldn’t be there when things are going right. Some of the best modeling of this is done at the professional level of sports. Buy some low priced tickets and go see a winning team play. Watch the interaction between those successful players. On a winning team they are always supportive of one another on the field. It is one of the simplest little things that you can do to allow the big thing of winning a championship in sports possible.
One of the reasons that this tenant has such lasting power is that it has been proven to work. One of the individual little things that you can do to help the success of a team you are involved in, is to put the success of the team as your goal and not individual accomplishment. This is hard to do sometimes because we all want to be recognized for all of our talents and accomplishments. A good coach or leader will foster an environment where the ultimate praise and reward is given for team accomplishments and not individual performance. When you focus on the team goal and that needs to be accomplished, and you do whatever you can to bring that about, you will all feel successful. Knowing that you are an intricate part of a successful working machine will encourage teammates to keep on working longer than they might all by themselves. Putting team goals and needs ahead of your own individual ones is one of the most important little things there is. Show your teammates how much you appreciate them by going online and buying some great below face value tickets to treat them to a game or concert.
One of the last little things I will mention that allows for big accomplishments is the simple act of enjoying what you are doing. When you enjoy what you are doing it is easy to find the enthusiasm that all successful endeavors need. This is a simple matter of choice. Act like you do when you succeed in getting low priced tickets to watch your favorite team. The quality of your endeavor will clearly reflect the level of enthusiasm you have for performing your work. If you look at your work as something undesirable, then that will clearly be reflected in the end product. Conversely if you look at whatever you do with enthusiasm and take pride in what you do, that too will show. Attitude is one of the simplest little things that you can choose to do to make the big things possible in sports.