So, many of you might not know I’ve been playing basketball for 20+ years now.
Back when I was in Italy I used to play at quite high levels, sometimes playing 2 different teams/leagues at the same time.
It’s fun and it keeps me on my toes.
Both physically and mentally.
I consider it a playground for my body and mind.
You can find a lot of the principles of good business, apply to sport, too.
One of them is about competition and how you can protect yourself against it.
The other we lost. And it wasn’t a nice loss. It was a gnarly 30 point take over, from the other team.
At the end of the game a team mate said something like “Yeah guys they were making all the shots, even with my hand on it”.
One thing I hate (in both sports and business, but also life in general) is when people don’t take responsibility for their results.
But sometimes not being able to take responsibility for your results, might also be because you don’t know what you don’t know.
And you can’t connect your poor results with what caused them.
In the case of my teammate (but for the team in general), he talked about putting his hand on the shooter’s face. And it being useless.
My thoughts about it?
Good defense is not only about the last few seconds in front of your men.
It’s not only about putting your hand on his face.
It’s not only about doing your deed and calling it a day. Whatever happens, happens.
Good, deliberately effortful defense, is about details and strategy.
It’s about knowing where to stand on the court based on where the ball is.
It’s about knowing the guy you’re defending, his skill level, athleticism, type of game and how they react to your defense.
It’s about defending for the team and not just for yourself.
It’s about adjusting and improvising on the fly, if needed.
It’s about putting pressure on the guy, waaaay before he even gets the chance to shoot the ball.
It’s about him not even getting a chance to receive the ball!
Or if he gets it, making sure the pass is not an easy one and he struggles picking up the ball correctly for a good shot.
And… only then, after you’ve covered all those…
It’s about putting your hand on the shot.
Because if you don’t cover all of those before, you’re cutting your chances of a good defense down by 95%.
Attention to detail, knowledge of the opponent, hard work, painstaking observation and study.
These are the necessary quality of a good defender.
Whether it’s a basketball game, or a business venture.
So next time your competition starts leap frogging you, ask yourself not only what you did wrong on the last mile..
…but what else you overlooked way before that happened.
This is what’s behind the way I study my client’s competitors.
Not only about copy or UX. But also when it comes to their branding and what it means for their audience.
If you want to learn more let’s talk.