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Was I Wrong About Every Country’s Quest for a Championship at the World Cup?

I was disappointed to read in this morning’s Wall St. Journal that our beloved Team USA may not be applying my “3 Strategies of Champion Organizations” I wrote about in my blog post yesterday while competing in the World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa.

According to the article written by Matthew Futterman, Team USA coached by my former college roommate Bob Bradley, for whom I have tremendous respect, is going in with a “we’re just happy to be here and see how well we can do” attitude.

Hardly the attitude of Champions. And, an attitude that violates the first of the “3 Strategies of Champion Organizations”“Create a Compelling Vision & Strategy.”

In a video interview at the Wall St. Journal’s website another writer Kevin Helliker points out that “no team has ever won the World Cup without going in to the tournament expecting to win it.”

That’s a pretty bold statement and I’m not sure he can prove it statement to be factual, but nonetheless I’d have to believe it is not far from the truth. In major league athletic competition the difference between winning a championship and second place is miniscule, and that difference is usually determined not by skill or talent but the mental approach.

It’s that belief and mental approach that brought an underdog Team USA ice hockey team to a Silver Medal performance at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Team USA took Gold Medal winner Team Canada in to overtime in the Championship Game before falling short of their goal. Without that deep belief they could win it all, even getting in to the medal round of the tournament would have been a stretch for Team USA.

Only time will tell in the next few days what lies in store for Team USA’s World Cup effort. Although I’m a firm believer that part of a Champion’s mindset involves humility, this is no time succumb to a mediocre mindset and placate the competition so as not to offend it.

To learn more about how the best in professional and amateur athletics apply “The 3 Strategies of Champion Organizations” and how they apply to business and non-profit organizations of any size, you can download a free White Paper Report and 60-minute Tele-Seminar on MP3 audio file version here.

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