I returned home yesterday from the 2017 Racquetball Pan Am Championships where I was a broadcaster and analyst for the International Racquetball Federation's live stream of the tournament. In this picture I'm with IRF Hall of Fame inductee (and Israeli Sports Hall of Fame) Gary Mazaroff. I also oversaw the drug testing that occurred as part of my additional role as Anti-doping Administrator for the Federation.
In many ways my attendance is selfish. Although I do have work responsibilities, I use the time to observe: I watch the players, coaches, officials, and staff closely to evaluate how successful they are, why they are, and if not why not. It's fascinating to see how and why success and failure occurs, and provides me learning opportunities to take the best of what I saw and apply it to my teaching and consultancy work.
The tournament puts the best players from each Pan American country against each other, but subcategories are offered for those not able to qualify for the main draw. I entered both the 35+ age category singles as well as the open singles bracket. I was fortunate to come away with two gold medals.
I say fortunate, but it wasn't really. I have important advantages over my competitors. I know how to train effectively, I know how to fuel my body, and I am mentally strong. On talent alone I shouldn't have stood on top of the podium.
But winning doesn't always come down to talent. I've always said that winning is a byproduct of what comes before. And Confucius said it better: "Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure." These medals were no accident. How are you preparing for success?
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