After the Seattle Seahawk’s divisional playoff win over the Carolina Panthers, which secured the Seahawk’s place in the NFC Championship, Seattle safety Kam Chancellor was asked how his fourth quarter interception and 90-yard touchdown return felt. His response was incredibly insightful to what drives elite performance: “It felt like preparation…and it felt good.”
In whatever domain we work – athletics, business, law, parenting – do we know what preparation “feels like”? Kam’s “big play” was not by chance or accident; it was the result of deliberate and intentional preparation that allowed him to be fully focused and able to execute in the moment, even under the extreme pressure of a playoff game. For him, the interception and touchdown return felt like the hours of deliberate training he has put into his craft.
From an athletic training perspective, there are really four areas of preparation that are critical to drive the type of success that athletes, coaches, and teams desire: Physical, Technical, Tactical, and Mental. Only when we intentionally train and develop each of these four areas are we the most prepared we can be to succeed. Then, when pressure comes or the game is on the line or others look to us to make a “big play,” we can simply show up and do what we have trained and conditioned ourselves to do: Be successful. Win. Make greatness. Display excellence.
And you know what all of those things feels like for people who experience “success” on a daily basis? It feels like preparation.
Physically Strong… Sport-specific fitness and conditioning.
Technically Sound…Fundamental skills & technique of the sport.
Tactically Smart… Awareness & understanding of the game.
Mentally Tough… Perseverance in the pursuit of excellence.