Drawing inspiration from athletes to better resist pressure

N°317a – Synopsis (8 p.) – Stress
Drawing inspiration from athletes to better resist pressure
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High-level athletes stand out for their ability to resist pressure in all circumstances. How can senior executives draw inspiration from their methods to gain in effectiveness?

High-level athletes stand out for their physical or technical feats, but also for their capacity to resist pressure and give their all at the critical moment. Who hasn’t been impressed by the ability of a Rafael Nadal, unflappable during a final, even when the game seems to be turning in his opponent’s favor, or by the determination of a Kylian Mbappé, who allowed his team to twice even the score during the 2022 football World Cup final, against all expectations?

Although they are less celebrated, the performance and capacity for resilience of senior executives have little to envy to those displayed by these great athletes. Between the magnitude of the task at hand, the need to perfectly calibrate every word, the burden of the gazes scrutinizing their decisions, the imperative to not let themselves be destabilized during a high-stakes presentation, the similarities are numerous. According to the authors of the article The Making of a Corporate Athlete, the daily life of executives is even more demanding than that of high-level athletes! Indeed, while the latter devote a majority of their time to training and only actually compete a limited number of times each season, the former are constantly moving from one hot potato to the next. What’s more, they rarely place the same importance on training and recuperation as athletes do—to their performance’s detriment.

Yet it is possible—and even very profitable—to draw inspiration from the methods of champions to gain still more in effectiveness. The example of leaders who have committed to this approach and have adopted these champions’ practices demonstrates this. Mental preparation, deliberate reinforcement of specific skills, acquisition of techniques to remain in control under pressure… top athletes call on an array of proven approaches and tools that will prove just as useful in the world of business.

In this synopsis:
– Training like an athlete to improve your performance
– Working on your mind like a high-level athlete
– Four techniques to maintain self-control under peak pressure

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