On the Tunney Side of the Street 49

by Jim Tunney

The "It" Factor!

After further review...Seeking perfection is, indeed, a rightful purpose. The sports world not only seeks perfection, but demands "it". But, the "it" factor is puzzling. Mark Wiskup's book "The 'It' Factor" raises many questions as he attempts to answer that age-old question: What is "it"? How do you get "it"? How do you keep "it"? Wiskup subtitles his book: "Be the one people like, listen to and remember". Sounds like something that would appeal to everyone. The author further states "you're not born with 'it', but 'it' can be acquired". Hmmm!

Surely, you can name sports stars that seemed to have "it" in their DNA. You probably can also name others who seemed to have "it", yet never performed to the level of expectations-theirs or others. "Being the best you can be" is preached by coaches, teachers, and parents to their young, and yet, is perfection possible? You've heard it said, "You must always seek perfection; and while perfection may not be possible, excellence can be captured along the way". That expression may describe a way to reach "it".

Professional athletes are full time-that's all they do-wanting to perform at their best. However, we see mistakes happen at that level that are not expected. For example, in a recent MLB playoff game a fly-ball was dropped by a centerfielder whose level of fielding always had been exceptional. In another MLB playoff game the umpire incorrectly ruled on an "Infield Fly" play. Both of them are full time professionals and both situations were costly errors. This is not to embarrass or castigate them, but to make the point that doing something full time does not ensure "it".

Recently I was part of a television T*E*A*M producing a nationally televised event. The producer emphasized three points to his crew: 1) Over communicate; 2) Be where you're supposed to be and on time; and 3) Don't overlook the little things. In televising sports, where perfection is the goal, those three instructions may describe a path towards achieving "it".

Giving one's full, undivided attention to the task at hand i.e., being completely focused is vital in seeking perfection. Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice can be a way to achieve "it".

Will put forth your best effort in whatever you do to accomplish "it"?