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June 12, 2014

Plan to succeed… it’s the secret to success

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The next two months will be a sports lovers paradise.

Hockey’s World Cup finishes this weekend with the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos both through to the semi finals.

Just as the hockey comes to a conclusion the FIFA World Cup commences, followed by the Tour de France and then the Commonwealth Games.

It’s times like this we wish the world had one time zone… yes I know, that’s not how the whole planet, moon, sun thing works, but everyone can have a dream.

Dreaming is a part of every successful athlete’s toolkit, but it rarely wins tournaments or medals at major tournaments.

What does is the execution of months and years of planning.

Not a day goes by where my previous life as an athlete doesn’t help in business.

Think about it.

Every day as an athlete was regimented by the training program.

Macro-cycles formed by micro-cycles. A year broken down into weeks, broken into days, broken into sessions, comprised of sets and reps.

Plans that begin as dreams become mundane tasks like repetitions. And rest and recovery.

Not once as an athlete did I turn up to training and wonder – “what will I do today?”

Every day had a plan, with activities that built towards the goal, whether it was that week’s goal, that season’s goal or that year’s goal.

Planning, preparation and then execution.

Over the next two months, Australia’s best athletes will seek to execute their plans.

Two of the best are Simon Gerrans and Anna Meares.

Gerrans aims, plans, prepares and fires. He rarely misses. He will have his sights set on a stage of this year’s Tour de France and even in the helter-skelter world of cycling, where the uncontrollables are many, he will be one to watch.

To see him in action, check this video out from the 7:00 mark, Gerrans knew the final stretch, he knew the right hand side was the shortest route home, he knew that if someone was to beat him he’d need to go around him on his left… even Phil Liggett gave Gerrans no chance. It was brilliantly executed.

This week Anna Meares was selected for her fourth Commonwealth Games, equalling Kathy Watt for the most appearances by an Australian cyclist in Games history. Meares already has four Commonwealth Games gold and no one doubts that she will expand on this collection in Glasgow.

Meares and her team are forensic preparers. I won’t recount the whole story here, but her victory in the women’s sprint final in London is one of the great stories in Olympic history.

If you don’t believe me watch the episode of Australian Story that reveals the back-story to how it was achieved. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must watch. If you have seen it – watch it again.

An audacious plan, practiced in secret, and delivered to perfection. It was beyond brilliant.

Which brings me back to the business of sport.

I love a good plan; the fluffy stuff less so, but detailed work plans drive our projects at Jump Media & Marketing.

We take time to prepare them – carefully and strategically, then live and breathe them. They change of course as projects evolve, but they guide us on a daily basis. Never to we turn up on any given day and wonder – “what will we do today?”

So just as the Hockeyroos, Kookaburras, Socceroos, Orica-GreenEdge riders and Commonwealth Games athletes prepare for their ultimate test over the next few months, take inspiration from their approach – think like an athlete and plan to succeed.


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