Bob Rotella is a sports psychologist. In his book, “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect”, he states that the golf course is not the place to experiment with your swing. You train and then trust. Use the driving range to practice your fade or your draw. Get a mat of artificial turf in your house to make 1,000 putts every day trying out different stances or grips to see what feels right. But, when you step on the course for the start of the tournament, let your training takeover and trust that you have prepared well.
This idea can obviously apply to most any sport. Athletes need to prepare long before a match/game/event. The preparation could take weeks and more likely years. When they step on the course/court/field their subconscious should take over and all the training will come out as high level performance. If that 100 yard sprinter has to concentrate on lifting his knees higher and placing the balls of his feet just so on each step, he is not likely to finish anywhere close to the top. Train, then let your body do what is has been trained to do.
It is hard not to see the parallels with jobhunting in this approach. In a recent class, one of my students asked how to handle questions in an interview when unprepared. The “Train and Trust” approach immediately came to mind and I shared the golf story with the class. Basically, I said, “Do not be unprepared!” Do your research, study the company, learn about the job, practice interview questions and answers. The interview is a performance/competition and this is the training required. Do a quick search on the internet for “reasons why candidates fail interviews” and you will get 103,000,000 results in 0.64 seconds. The results are mostly lists of the top 5, 10, 41, 13, 6, 20, 24 reasons why you didn’t get the job. Any guesses on what shows up on all of them? Yep, lack of preparation.
Whereas with sports, you are relying on muscle memory and reflex built up through the constant training, the preparation for an interview provides your mind with ready answers to a wide range of questions and perhaps more importantly, gives you a sense of confidence which will be obvious to the interviewer. Confidence that you have prepared as best you can for this interview, much like on test day, helps to keep your mind clear. This will help with your ability to think quickly and answer curveball questions when they come. Train and trust!
Lawrence Kieffer - COO, Fidel Consulting KK