Life Imitates Sports

In my last post of a few days ago (“The 2012 Ryder Cup: A Look Back“) I made the point that one’s “attitude” going into a competitive event is absolutely critical, so much so that the final outcome frequently, very frequently, depends upon it. The Europeans simply had a better attitude about Sunday’s singles matches than did the Americans.

For those of you who have followed my writings, you will know that I rarely, when talking abut why some teams perform well on a consistent basis and others do not, discuss matters of a technical nature. It’s quite simply my experience that technical differences are rarely the difference. Again, referring to my last post, it’s about discipline, trust, support and attitude more than anything else.

Wednesday night, from a stage on the campus of a university in Denver, CO, another competition played itself out. This time, unlike a sports game, the stakes were much higher. As over 40 million who tuned in already know, the competitors were the former governor of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney and the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama. The prize, the most powerful political position in the world, not much money to go with it, at least not while one is on the job but the residuals are invaluable.

Going into this first of three “Presidential Debates” (with one Vice-Presidential Debate for good measure), the Republican candidate, the aforementioned Mitt (who names their child, Mitt?) Romney was behind in most  polls. The President had the numbers and to hear most political pundits, the majority of the facts on his side as well. A decisive performance by the President in this debate could have pretty much closed the door on his opponent and barring a monumental collapse, cruised to complete his two term presidency (the maximum allowed under The Constitution). To put it into a vernacular with which most of you who read blogs like this are familiar, momentum was on his side, he had a lead on the scoreboard and time was running out. Just close the deal! Look and sound presidential. Use your incumbency to your advantage!

Well, like the American Ryder Cup Team, Mr. Obama did exactly the opposite to what any “coach’ would have counselled. He looked and sounded as though he wished he were anywhere but on that stage in Denver. His opponent sensed it right out of the gate and proceeded to make the point for most of the 90 minutes. In short, candidate Romney stopped the bleeding and has begun to revive the patient!

Democratic spin doctors were quick to point out that it’s only the first debate and yes, their man was not at his best. What? Not at his best! This is the major leagues of politics! You better be at your best my friend or like so many teams who miss scoring chance after scoring chance, when the opposition who is back on its heals makes the first offensive move, they more often than not score the one goal that wins the game. If Mr. Romney were to pull this out of the fire and win the majority of seats in the Electoral College and become the 45th President of the United States, history might see Wednesday’s debate as the turning point. Only time will tell!

There’s an axiom in the sports world to which I adhere. “It’s a lot easier to keep it going than it is to get it going.” Hmmm, what’s that about momentum? Lose it and see how difficult it is to get it back, It’s not a faucet. You can’t turn it “on” and “off” at will.

Heh, Barack, I’m free if you’d like some advice before you tee it up again in a couple of weeks. Give me a call! You need a coach who knows what it takes to perform! There’s another sports axiom in which I believe and it goes like this, “It’s not how you start. It’s how you finish!”