If you play a sport that requires a certain precision in the mechanics of your body – while playing it – you know about the concept that even the best players have to deconstruct their stance, their grip, their posture if they want to move up to the next level. I grew up with a semi-pro golfer of a mother. Her handicap was three for years which is a fabulous handicap by any standard. One summer, she met a new teacher that promised her to become scratch – zero handicap – if she was willing to give up everything she knew and get back to basics. Might as well ask an Olympian gymnast to get back to practicing summersaults with a spotter.
And she did it. She played like a monkey for months. She could not hit one ball. She stayed stoic. She trusted her teacher. She practiced for hours and hours and then some.
And one morning, there it was. The gods of golf rewarded her commitment. She won every tournament that fall. She reached a zero handicap. She was listed as one of the best women players in the country.
There are countless stories of athletes having to reinvent themselves, sometimes at the height of their career, changing everything that brought them to the top. To relearn.
It takes an extraordinary act of courage and humility to admit you could be better. To go back to an apprentice role when you are used to being on top.
We work with a lot of corporate athletes and peak performers at the top of their field. The ones that take it all the way to the highest positions in the organization are the ones willing to reinvent, deconstruct, and put it all on the line. Sometimes to be better, we have to take a step back and get back to a learning stance. That is often where the secret to your next victory is revealed.