What Can Steph Curry Teach Us About Performance?
Look at that picture again. A thing of beauty.
If you have seen this young man play…it is a thing of beauty.
Keep looking. What do you see in him that is in you? If your answer is, “nothing,” look again.
I see maximum confidence and performance. I see work ethic that happens behind closed doors in the most private of moments. It’s a thing of beauty when on display for the public.
When I hear his teammates talk about him in interviews, they always talk about the work he puts in to being great at his craft. His coach talks about his drive to be the greatest ever.
Mind you, Steve Kerr was coached by 3 Hall of Fame coaches (Olson, Popovich, Jackson) who embody coaching greatness. This is a man that has played alongside the greatest to ever play this child’s game of basketball, Michael Jordan.
Really Steve? Better than Michael? Works as hard as Michael?
Ok. I’ll trust his word on this one. He has seen it up close and personal, but we are not here for that…
Let’s get back to you for a moment.
When is the last time you felt that you performed to your max in effort and confidence at work? As a leader, who do you support on your team that gives that kind of effort daily? When has your team performed at that level and did you recognize it?
It’s that moment that you not only met your sales budget, but you destroyed your sales budget!
That moment when your customer service scores were far above even your expectations.
When have your peers, subordinates, or superiors mentioned your tireless work ethic?
That moment where you felt that you could stand on the shore and throw the ball in the ocean…that "can’t miss" moment. Like Steph.
Are you letting your peers or those who do not know you write another narrative about you?
- You’re a millennial…
- You’re a complainer…
- You’re not engaged…
- You’re lazy…
Why let anyone else write your narrative? Now is the time to take inventory of what you bring to the team, even if you are a one-man team. Has anyone recognized your “can’t miss” moment? Have you? What does sustained performance look like to you personally? How do you define your success?
Keep in mind, when we talk about sustained performance, I am not talking perfection. I am talking about having specific, actionable goals that consistently drive you to produce results at home and at work.
I will never advocate comparing yourself to others. I will however, suggest that you can model behaviors of those you respect and look up to in business, family or sport.
Model of Performance
So what can Steph Curry teach us about our own performance and development? The way I see it, he can teach us all a lot. Take these things for example:
1. Work hard when no one is looking
To call yourself a true professional in your field, the work you put in without being told to do so by anyone else sets you apart. Taking the training manual home, turning off the television, putting the cell phone down and studying your product knowledge or service offering sets you apart when it’s time to perform.
The hours Steph puts in the gym away from the cameras are becoming legend amongst those in his field. Can you say that about you?
2. Even the greats have a coach
No matter your position, your coach or who you go to for feedback and refinement are important. Calling that person a coach or a mentor doesn’t matter in title. The fact is that you should have someone to lean on, even in your greatness. If there is not one available to you, look again. They are there. This person should help you grow and develop in your professional career.
If you are that person in a leadership or management role, can your team say that you drive and support your team to do their best? Are you pushing them based on who they are and what “they” need, or are you only pushing them to get what “you” need?
You will hear Steph mention his dad and coaches, both past and current, in his development as a player. Can anyone say that about you?
Swallow your pride and either get a coach/mentor or be a coach/mentor…or do both.
3. Become self-aware
Who are you? How good or great are you? What opportunities do you have to improve? What level is still there for you to reach?
Being aware of your strengths and opportunities to improve only helps you on your journey. If you are in the wrong job or you are not making the progress you expect in your current role, it’s time to take a look in the mirror. What are you contributing to bettering yourself?
Have you seen Steph shoot and walk away before the ball goes in? Do you think he does not realize just how good he is in that moment in order to have the confidence to do that?
On the flip side, watch him play defense. He knows when to call for help when the other guy is taller or stronger. That’s knowing your strength and opportunity for improvement.
4. Keep shooting
Know that there is nothing wrong with going 0 for 5 in the first half. There is always a second half to be played. Just as in business, you miss 100% of the shots you never take.
Quick example. A few nights ago, here was Steph’s stat line:
15 points, 4 of 4 on FG, 3 of 3 on 3pt FG, and 4 of 4 from the FT line….IN ONE MINUTE AND 58 SECONDS!!!!
I challenge you to go to the gym by yourself right now and mimic that stat line…by yourself…unguarded in 1:58.
Here’s the point. Step to the line and pull the trigger. You may not have a perfect line, but what if you started 0 of 5 and ended 10 of 15? 66% is not bad right?
About the author:
Noah Carmichael is an Executive Coach and Director of Inside Executive. Noah works with business owners, executives, and their teams on a one-on-one or group basis in areas ranging from personal and professional development to operational strategy and sales accountability training.
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