Practice Like a Pro to Build Strong Team Skills

“Practice puts brains in your muscles.” – Sam Snead, professional golfer

One of the people I have the great fortune to work with is Andrew Limouris, CEOs of Medix, a leading provider of workforce solutions for clients and candidates across the Healthcare, Scientific and IT industries. Medix has been featured on such prestigious lists as Inc. magazine’s “Inc. 5000 Honor Roll,” Inavero’s “Best of Staffing” Talent Award, and Best and Brightest Companies to Work for in the US. Last year, Andrew was honored as a Midwest Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of The Year® in Technology and Talent Services.

Andrew also wrote Won with Purpose: Positively Impacting Lives On and Off the Field, about cultivating a deeper purpose in business, to bring success to a company and to every person on every team. And he does coach a football team.

I’d heard about this amazing football team of 14- and 15-year-old boys but had never seen them in person until early September, at an executive retreat, when we participated in their team practice. And I mean full-on participated!

At one point in the practice, in a blocking drill, I was up against a 14-year old kid in full gear. It was my job to stop him, holding only a big pad – wearing no other gear. I took a helmet to the bridge of my nose and to the back of my head, and had an absolute riot, with the sore muscles and bruises to prove it.

I was struck by how, for young kids, how well organized and dynamic the practice was: the discipline, the calling down of the drills – 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…switch! –  to lining up their helmets when coach called a water break. Not normal teen boy behaviour.

They rotated through six different stations, drill after drill. Of the many sports practices I’ve seen, over the years, I have never seen one this organized or effective. The coaches were involved, teaching and running the drills with the boys, running the practice with the incredible intensity and focus you’d expect on a pro team. Unbelievable!

And it really made me think that if we all practiced with that kind of focus and intensity, how could we not do incredibly well?

“An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching”. – Mahatma Gandhi

Practice, perfect

If in your businesses, a weekly meeting included training at this intensity – with ‘coaches’, showing your team the way to higher level of achievement – you’d likely build strong team skills and have great performances from your people.

Most companies are so busy doing the job that they lose that rigour to train. They don’t do enough practice and rehearsal, in order to do the job that much better.

Sales meetings should have some component of sales training on a regular basis – not just the reading of reports: role play, run scenarios again and again, and get feedback.

The Challenge

  • Do your meetings include training or skill development as part of the agenda?
  • Does your training incorporate the rigour of a pro team – or do you expect people to get better and stronger on their own?