Don Akers's Blog
Turning Talent Into Performance

I Feel Confident

There were three things I wanted to get done yesterday.

First: Learn the track. We walked the track before it opened so we could see the lines and get an idea of what the lines would be. Then we talked about what we thought the best lines would be. By the time I started riding I knew what was coming after every corner before I went into it.

Second: Make sure I can ride fast through the first turn. In motocross the first turn is one of the HIGH LEVERAGE areas where you can make a lot of progress for a little bit of risk.

My buddy Chris and I decided to ride into the first turn going so fast it would scare us. The strategy worked. I didn’t get scared, but by planning to push it there, I was passing people. Now I feel good about the start.

Finally, I wanted to manage my energy. This is the toughest thing when I go to a new track. It takes a while to get familiar with the track and go fast. Once I do, I want to keep going until I’m bushed.

With four days of riding, I need to make sure I’m strongest on Saturday and Sunday for the races. In order to conserve energy, I stopped early.

It was hard to stop, but I knew I’d feel better over the weekend if I did. We recharged by going for a drive up to Big Bear Lake.

This is such great practice for my speaking and consulting work.

1. If You Know The Environment, You’ll Feel Confident
When I do my sound check before a keynote speech, I walk the room and the stairs that go up to the stage. I do this at least ten times. Meeting planners always comment about how many times I walk the room, but once I know the environment, I feel way more confident.

2. Start Strong
When I have any group, whether it’s a keynote, team alignment workshop, training, or facilitating a management retreat it is essential that we start FAST. We don’t go fast the whole time – you have to mix it up to keep people engaged. But if you start slow, you lose the whole part of the audience that thinks or acts quickly—the leaders of the group. If you start too fast, others will be patient and wait until you slow down.

3. Manage Your Energy
Keep some gas in the tank so that you never give 100% effort. Sounds like slacking but it’s not. Stephen Covey got this right with this P vs PC concept. If our production is too high we lose the chances for improvement and synergy because we don’t have that little bit of extra time or energy to take advantage of unexpected opportunity. Worse, if you get too tired your attitude goes south.

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.” ~Vince Lombardi coach of the first world champions Green Bay Packers

Confidence Strategy:
Learn the environment
Start strong
Manage your energy

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