Athletes and competitors know all too well the feeling of playing down to an opponent’s level. We don’t do it on purpose. In fact, we’re baffled by it, and catch ourselves saying “we’re better than this!”
I recall losing a game in
Two things seemed to have happened. We played down to their level. And they played up to our level.
Knowing that we crushed them the time before, they came out hungry and focused. The competition brought out the best in them. We, on the other hand, were meeting the minimal expectation to win, staying a couple of points ahead.
We unconsciously dropped our standards.
Greatness in fierce competitors comes from an unwavering commitment to high standards. Usain Bolt came first in the 100-meter dash at the 2016 Olympics running a 9.81. Gatlin came second running 0.08 seconds behind and De Grasse third at 0.1 seconds behind Bolt. The margins were minuscule, yet they made all the difference.
When we’re not where we want to be, we should look to see if we’re playing down to the level of our environment.
Or if it’s time to set new standards; set them 0.1 seconds higher.
“It doesn’t work if the bad guys kill his mother’s uncle’s friend’s neighbour’s pet dog. You’ve got to make the stakes high.” – Steven Seagal