Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Becoming a Professional MVP: Pre-Game Routine

By: Patrick Gallagher

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out,” stated Robert Collier, an American author who wrote about the psychology of confident action and becoming your best.

Since most of you reading this post are avid sports fans, I’m sure we can all agree that watching Auburn’s amazing feat over Alabama this past Saturday was one for the history books; particularly because it had that big-time, unforgettable play that we will always remember. As sports fans, we love being associated with that type of incredible play because of the higher-than-life feeling it gives us. Whether we are the athletes playing between the lines, the fans sitting in the stadium, or part of the group watching the game at a local pub, being able to share the story of, “I remember when….” is one of those things we all pride ourselves on having in our back pocket when hanging out with friends, family and peers.

Here’s the most interesting notion though that I believe we all tend to forget: SUCCESS IS THE SUM OF SMALL EFFORTS, REPEATED DAY IN AND DAY OUT. Chris Davis, who returned the missed field goal at the end of the game for the game-winning touchdown, is an athlete that understands an unbelievable play like that does not happen without putting in the hard work beforehand. It takes hours of practice and training regiments to cultivate a skill set that will hopefully and eventually enable you to showcase your strengths when the opportunity presents itself. For Davis, a Senior student-athlete on the Auburn football team, that moment came after spending four years of pouring out blood, sweat and tears for the Tigers.

For most of us however, we will not be provided with the same type of opportunity that Davis had this past weekend. Instead, most of us are working hard at just trying to keep our head above water while we manage our school course work, internships, volunteerism, etc. As a current student and employee of Drexel University, I fully understand and empathize with all those who are working so hard at building your portfolio so you can hopefully land your dream job within the industry. To do so, I encourage you all to develop your own “pre-game routine” that you commit to doing every single day that hopefully builds a thread of consistency in the way your approach your job and your responsibilities that go along with that.

Before we explore a “pre-game routine” that I have found to be beneficial for my particular career development, let me first clarify that it is up to each of you to decide whether or not you want to commit to putting forth the effort needed day in and day out. I promise you that most of it will go unnoticed (that’s ok!), but I can also assure you that when the opportunity presents itself, you will be ready to showcase your strengths in a big-time way just like Chris Davis’ touchdown return.

Pre-game routine: (1) map out your day and (2) save the best for last.

(1)     The morning is a great time to map out your day because the early hours allow for easier reflection and focus when prioritizing your projects/jobs/emails for that day. And everybody has their own version of a checklist, right? Some of us type it into our phone while others set up email reminders or write it down in a notepad – whatever your checklist strategy may be, try out the following trick for one week. Write down your checklist for the day on a piece of paper; then, turn the piece of paper over and write down what you think your Supervisor’s checklist is for that same day. If you think about what he or she needs to accomplish as well, you may approach your checklist a little differently or maybe with a little bit more urgency to ease the demands of your boss.

(2)     Save the “best” task for the end of the day. I know it will be hard to do, but try to do the least desirable task on your list right away in the morning. This may mean that your morning could possibly start out with an unpleasant feeling but I can assure you that if you approach the harder tasks first, your day will get progressively easier.

Make the most of your day and commit to being the best version of yourself each and every morning so that one day, when people are sitting around together talking about their organizations big-time moments, they share the story of “I remember when….” with you as the lead character. To conclude, I’d like to leave you with a quote from Napoleon Hill, “Your big opportunity may be where you are right now.”

Patrick Gallagher Patrick is a MS, Sport Management candidate at Drexel University set to graduate in Summer 2014. He is the Business and Operations Graduate Assistant for Drexel Athletics and is responsible for supporting the Administration and Operations staff of Drexel's Athletic Cabinet this year. Gallagher graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, majoring in marketing and management, in May 2006 from Villanova University. During his enrollment, he was named Captain of the men's varsity soccer team and was appointed President of SAAC. He is looking to use his professional experience as a media sales consultant in New York, coupled with his passion for sports, to pursue a successful career in athletic administration.
You can connect with Patrick Gallagher on LinkedIn

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