A LESSON REINFORCED AT THE WORLD CUP
By: Tony Amato
University of Arizona
Head Women’s Soccer Coach
Many apprehensions surrounded the preparations leading up to the past two World Cups in South Africa and Brazil. How dangerous is it going to be? Will the stadiums be finished? Is there adequate infrastructure? Yet, with all of these concerns, people by the hundreds of thousands travel the globe to get to the event. They endure crazy travel, spend lots of money, and even sleep in the back of cars (especially the Argentines) to reach the tournament. As I stood at the FanFest on Copacabana beach soaking in the England vs Italy match as my first 2014 World Cup moment, I thought for a brief second that it is crazy how so many people make the journey to get this experience. And that is when the lesson I learned early in my coaching career hit me in the face. The vibe of the World Cup is unexplainable. This event tells a great story: The passion! The pageantry! The cultural spirit! The excitement! It is simply elite. As a result, I will never be able to sit at home during a future World Cup knowing just how great it is to be at one.
So, if you are a coach, the leader of a group, run your own business, or in charge of your department at work, think about the World Cup experience. The reasons people are motivated to go above and beyond to experience it is directly linked to the fact that it is a special event. If you want those you’re leading to go the extra mile, put these three things at the root of your culture:
1. Create an elite environment
2. Make it an elite experience
3. Make it fun
When your team or work environment is built on these components, you will get elite performance from its members and a successful end product.