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Play Like A Gladiator

“When I’m on the court, I picture myself as like a gladiator.”

Tyson Chandler


In the past, I have had the privilege to coach several people with terminal or life threatening diseases (many of them with stage 4 cancer of one type or another).  Hands down, these folks have been the easiest to performers to coach.  Why? Because each was playing like a gladiator.  If a gladiator didn’t win his/her fight….well, you know.

Someone who is in a fight for their life has inherent motivation, although not always.  Medical Doctors call it the will to live.  The same holds true with professional warriors, we have an intrinsic emotional driver, beating death or dismemberment.

It’s much easier to be disciplined in carrying out the process of performance, when failure to do so means dying. For cancer patients, the process of performance can entail many things, including diet and nutrition, surgeries, radiation, chemo, and rest cycles.  It takes enormous amounts of Mental Toughness, focus and emotional control to fight a terminal illness.

Anecdotally, the terminally ill are much better performers than the middle class professionals, who hate their jobs and “want” to pursue their dream careers or businesses, but don’t play like gladiators.  Always keeping the safety net of their much maligned occupation, only willing to face the lions from inside the safety of a cage.  It’s very rare to win big in any arena of life, but nearly impossible if you don’t go all in, sell out, and fight like your life depends on it.

As a coach, it’s much more rewarding to work with a performer who plays like a gladiator.  The cancer patients I’ve worked with embody all the traits of the greatest champions of all time.  They know what they are fighting for, they know what outcome they want, they know it’s a difficult fight, but they work at the process of performance like there’s no tomorrow, because there might not be one.

Get clarity, and play like a gladiator, there’s no guarantee of a tomorrow for any one of us.

Boo Yah!!

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