Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else

Just finished reading the book “Training Camp: What the Best Do Better Than Everyone Else” by Jon Gordon. It is an interesting read and here's a brief summary.

This book looks at what makes someone great in their field of work. The best in any field - sales, sports, business, etc. share a set of similar characteristics. There are things that the best do that others do not and things that they do better than everyone else. There is a way that the best of the best approach their life and work and craft that makes them stand out from the rest.

The book, in the words of the author, tries to inspire the reader to strive to be your best and bring out the best in your team - be it at work or elsewhere. The book is in the form of an engaging story of an un-drafted rookie footballer, Martin Jones, trying to make it to the NFL. Martin has spent his entire life proving to critics that a small guy with a big heart can succeed against the odds. In his first pre-season game, Martin stuns everyone with his performance and gains attention. However, during the game, Martin sprains his ankle pretty badly and is out of action. When he thinks that his dream of making it to the NFL is lost, he meets a special coach who shares eleven life changing lessons that could make him the best of the best. It is an inspiring story filled with nuggets of wisdom and insights on what it takes to excel as individuals and teams.

Irrespective of the field you are in, these eleven lessons have wide applicability.

1. The Best know what they truly want
2. The Best not only know what they want, but they want it more
3. The Best are always striving to get better
4. The Best don't do anything different. They just do the ordinary things better
5. The Best zoom‐focus
6. The Best are mentally tougher
7. The Best overcome their fear
8. The Best seize the moment
9. The Best tap into a power greater than themselves
10. The Best leave a legacy
11. The Best make everyone around them Better

The book has several interesting insights to offer. Some such as getting out of your comfort zone push folks to overcome their sense of inertia. If you are always striving to be better then you are growing which in turn means that you are not comfortable with the status quo. To be the best, you have to be willing to move out of your comfort zone and embrace discomfort as part of the process of growth. The book tries to break a popular myth about overnight success. Many people believe that star athletes, top performers, and others were born that way or simply stumbled on their success overnight. The best tend to make what they do look so easy and effortless that people either think anyone can do it or that there are the few chosen ones who alone can do it. People see the outcome and not the countless hours of toil, dedication, practice and preparation that lead to greatness. Do not settle for mediocrity, but strive for excellence every day .

Readers are exhorted to not focus on the past, nor look to the future. Focus on the "now". Success, rewards, fame are merely by-products for those who are able to seize the moment. Ironically, to enjoy success you must not focus on it. Instead, you must focus on the process that produces success. While striving to be the best, you must not ask what your greatness means to you but what impact it makes on others. The success you achieve now is temporary, but the legacy you leave behind is eternal.

Greatness, ultimately is a life mission and being the best really is not about being better than anyone else but about striving to be the best you can be and bringing out the best in others.