I've played "competitive" foosball for the last eight years. I discovered Foosball in college..it was my "minor"at ECU. When I saw an article about a local league; PowerKick, that played at Fat Daddy's every Friday night, I headed there the next Friday. I've been devoted since. This is NO social club. Players take the game VERY SERIOUSLY. No one gets "gentle treatment" and many newcomers get "creamed", crawl out never to peep in again. Sorry about that if it was ever you. )% You see, we really can't help ourselves. It's really nothing personal.. it's about making this shot my best yet, hearing the "ping" when the ball fits the backboard REALLY HARD and trained reflex. I feel sorry for the newbies and have felt their pain, both in foosball and business.
There's a few interesting analogies between what I've learned about playing foosball and what I think makes a successful business and thought to myself; "What a great way to start off my blog!? "...
In case you don't know what "foosball"is, a more generic descriptive title would be "Table Soccer". It's often played for fun in pubs, bars, workplaces, schools, and clubs with few rules. It's also played in official competitions. Official Foosball Tournaments are organized by a number of national organizations, with highly evolved rules and regulations. Organized competition can be traced back to the 1940s and 1950s in Europe. The ITSF now regulates International events including the annual World Championships and the World Cup. In 2002, the International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF) was established in France with the mission of promoting the sport of Table Soccer as an organizing sports body, regulating international competitions, and establishing the game with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and General Association of International Sport Federation (GAISF).
You have to absolutely love the game to keep getting the crap bet out of you and keep coming back for more. I did and my journey to mastering foosball began. It's still evolving. I am too.
"Newbies" are what we call people who have played a dozen or less games and/or really have NO interest in making it a core part of their being like "us". I make that distinction because I may use the term to signify a "new" person to the game. In the game of business, a "newbie" might be someone with years of "experience" but just hasn't "gotten" the game yet. Here are five correlations I find interesting between the game of foosball and the game of business.
1. IT'S A "MENTAL GAME"
Both Foosball and Business are both first and foremost; "a mental game". Regardless of skill, your state of mind will determine your game. Get too excited, annoyed, anxious or nervous and your game goes down the drain. Learn to make important decisions when you're calm, organized and focused on the outcome.
2. "CONTROLLING THE BALL"
Both Foosball and Business are dependent on the level of skill the "player" has "Controlling The Ball". Newbies just whack at it, Novices learn it's about "CONTROL". First, just "getting the ball" is considered a success. Then, "keeping the ball" is a major milestone. Putting the ball where you want it to go (in the hole, you think?) is close to an orgasmic experience.
Ultimate Control of the ball takes years and years of playing and practicing. Like business, there is no secrets to instant and everlasting success. It takes hard work.
Ultimate success in winning the game depends upon "Perfecting the Pass". Passing the ball from the middle "5 man" bar to your next "rod"; the "3 man" bar closest to the end goal...where It's just your opponent vs you scoring another point. :Master" and "Expert" players understand winning comes down to increasing the number of shots they get to take "in their most advantageous position"; which is directly in front of the opponent, not from the "5 bar". So, when the ball is in the middle of the table, they prefer to take the shot with the higher probability of reaching at end goal. Instead of taking the risker shot from farther back, They focus on passing the ball to their "3 bar" where the odds of making the shot increase significantly.
So, in comparison, Successful business owners recognize that just getting in front of the end goal (their potential clients or customers) as many times as possible is a critical to reaching the end goal. It's also important to understand "positioning" ;costs of servicing,closing the sale and getting paid. There are distinct steps in the process. Often times, it's not often readily apparent to the "newbie" which part of the process is critical and plan accordingly
3. "USE THE SHOULDERS"
Successful business people and foosers don't take unnecessary risks. Masters learn that, in a highly competitive game, take the shots that will count. High risk shots are those that haven't been practiced to perfecting and while they might be fun & impressive, the odds of scoring are lower than taking shots they make repeatedly. For example, Master Players prefer to pass the ball to the 3 rod in the middle of the table. They can, but interference is more likely than if they used the shoulder of the table. Passing the ball on the shoulder is much easier to accomplish.
4. DEFENSE: PROACTIVE VS REACTIVE?
My best game is currently Doubles (2 players as a team), being the "goalie" in the back defending my territory against evil forces. Some forces are more evil than others. I can increase my powers by playing games with the evil ones and learning their shots. Newbies start out trying to block by reacting to their opponents moves. If foosball and business, if your only strategy is to react, you'll seldom win the race. Never "sit still", anticipate your opponents moves and get into "position"
5. CONSTANTLY LEARN NOW SHOTS AND PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Most Master players start out with just one or two shots and build their skills to become competent at multiple shots, from multiple positions, on multiple table types. There is one guy who has won titles on all six tournament style tables in the world. The "Michael Jordon" of Foosball! One of Michael Jordons' most famous quotes is; " I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.""
So, in summary, if you're committed to Success, to making your business "a core part of your being" , here's your assignment from the five lessons listed above.
Lesson #1 ~ It's a "Mental Game"....Learn techniques and use tools to stay "cool" under pressure and get in "the Zone". Start with David Allens book; "Getting Things Done".
Lesson #2 ~ "Control the Ball" Learn and implement processes, tactics and strategies to gain better control of your operations and finances.
Lesson #3 ~ Create "back office" processes and maintenance procedures all three critical steps; Lead Generation, Lead Qualification and Lead Conversion. Make "passing the ball" as simple and seamless as possible.
Lesson #4 ~ Keep in touch with what is happening in your market, what your competitors are doing and what your clients and employees are thinking.
Lesson #5 ~ Don't be afraid to take shots you fail at. No matter what, just keep taking shots!
Your thoughts, comments, questions? Requests for foosball lessons? (%
Check my blog next week for a recap of a "game changing" auto recording I listened to courtesy of Joe Polish,CEO of The Genius Network.
Till then...Enjoy The game!