I like to practice my putting stroke in my man cave that I affectionately have named The Varsity Club. Practicing putting without a real golf hole can be a challenge to the brain. Focus and visioning is a required discipline in order to get any value out of the experience, other than just mindlessly hitting the golf ball.
I decided to take a lesson from an old basketball coaching mentor that taught me how to improve free throw shooting. Jim explained that he taught his players to practice missing. That’s right, practice missing. He worked with them on “missing small.” His players practiced missing on the right corner of the rim; missing on the front-left; missing on the back of the iron. The concept was simple; if you can “miss small,” it’s much easier to make it in the larger goal during the game.
In my indoor putting, I decided to practice “missing small.” I placed 3 coasters (ironically looking like golf holes) next to each other with just a tiny opening in between. The opening was just large enough for a golf ball to roll through. I took my position about 12 feet away and aimed not for the coasters, but for the openings. My goal was to hit the ball perfectly enough to make it between the coasters. I would alternate between each one. By “thinking small,” my focus became more laser-like, and simpler. We will see this spring and summer if the results are better.
What’s this mean for you?
“Thinking small” isn’t relegated to practicing putting and free throws. As a business professional, consider the ways thinking small can be of benefit to you…
- Identifying your one greatest value and focusing your efforts there. I’ve worked mentoring and coaching consultants that have over-complicated their practices by doing too much. They’ve confused their prospective clients. What is it that you do really well? Focus on that and make very clear how you improve the condition of others.
- Instead of trying to “fix” a number of professional growth areas for yourself (or for others), concentrate on one at a time. It’s easier (and better) to move one thing forward a mile, than 10 things forward an inch.
- Ever tell yourself you’re involved in too many things? Stop spreading yourself thin and think small. Learn how to say NO; step away from organizations and associations that you can no longer give your time to (they will still take your money); and simplify your efforts. In turn, you will simplify your life!
Bottom line – Thinking small is about simplifying the process, improving focus, and gaining greater results. It requires discipline and confidence. By narrowing that focus, you will indeed sink more winning putts in both your professional and personal endeavors.
Are you a consultant, coach, or professional speaker? Accelerate the success of your practice. Betsy Jordyn and I can help you take “thinking small” to lofty heights! Check out or 12-week virtual program, Accelerate Your Consulting Success to learn exactly how to attain exponential growth! LINK
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