• Tim Crone: 'It factor' crucial in sports

  • All involved in athletics, no matter at which level, strive to become a model of success.

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  • All involved in athletics, no matter at which level, strive to become a model of success.
    In order to be a consistent winner, the “it factor” has to be present. Now, that is a difficult concept to define – not sure it can be defined. Teams will often have a good or even great season, but then struggle for an extended stretch of time.
    Talent is obviously a crucial piece of the puzzle. However, to be a consistent winner, year in and year out, you must be committed to a plan and the will and drive to execute that plan. In essence, you need to create a culture.
    A great example of a program that created such a culture is Coach Bill Snyder and Kansas State. Coach Snyder has a clear vision and strives to improve his team on a daily basis – always has an eye on the prize.
    Great athletic programs share a clear vision as well as a leader willing to work hard and sacrifice to fulfill the vision. These leaders are able to concisely define what is expected of every member of the team. When everyone has a deep understanding of how the total program works, it unites them and produces energy and excitement that tends to carry forward to the next year.
    Even when the level of talent slips a little, momentum tends to maintain a successful program. Excuses do not exist in these programs. There’s no negative thinking. No such thing as “We don’t have good athletes,” “We are the smallest school in the league,” or “We’ve never had any success at this school.”
    Individuals who make excuses just don’t have the IT FACTOR. They waste too much time and energy trying to justify a lack of success. A question that should be asked from the get go is “Are you all in?” If a team member is all in then it’s the job of the organization to clearly define the role of each and every member.
    Once success begins to occur it’s the job of the team leader to keep it going by disallowing any complacency. Champions are not satisfied with status quo – instead they strive to attain an even greater goal.
    Even though the “it factor” is difficult to explain you know when you see it. When it exists you must protect it from anyone who wants to destroy the culture and unity that has been created!
    n The World Series was a big disappointment. No action, no fire!
    n If you want to see some great college football, make your way up to Northwest Missouri State the next two weekends and watch the Bearcats take on Emporia State and Missouri Western.
    n The Royals sound like a broken record when they talk about obtaining pitching for next season.
    Page 2 of 2 - n My quote this week is from the all-time great golfer, Jack Nicklaus, “The one strongest, most important idea in my game of golf – my cornerstone - is that I want to be the best. I wouldn’t accept anything less than that. My ability to concentrate and work toward that goal has been my greatest asset.”

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