With the NFL Season starting and the Major League baseball playoffs starting tomorrow, I thought it would be a good time to really look at what makes some people excel when the game is on the line and others crumble like a ninety day old cookie.  In other words, what makes a winner a winner.

We have all been in that big moment where it is time for us to shine.  It is time for us to perform.  You know that big game, that big meeting, that big sales call, that big surgery, that big test, that big job interview.  Some of us excel while other crash and burn.  Why do some people rise to the occasion while other can’t seem to make the big play when they are asked to?

Here are ten reasons how winners win when they need to. You know, when the game is on the line!  Read on and see if you are a game time player or a choke artist.

  • Well Prepared:  Winners know how to prepare, and they are always prepared.  If you are not prepared you are       winging it.  If you are winging it, you are dead!  Enough said about this point.
  • Practice:  Winners know the importance of practice.  The more you practice, the more prepared you will be.  The more prepared and practiced you are the more confidence you will have.  The more confident you are the better you will do.
  • Experienced:  Winners have been there before, and they know what to expect.  They have put the time in and preparation.  They know what it takes, and knowing what it takes tends to keep you from freaking out at the wrong time.
  • Visualization:  Winners see themselves winning long before they ever hit the field.  They have already seen themselves ace the big test, make the big play in their mind a 1000 times before the big test, the big play, or for that matter any other important event ever gets here.
  • Desire:  They simply want it more than the other guy or gal!
  • Self Belief:  They believe they are the best and no one is better.  They have done the work to earn the spot.  They are confident not cocky, and they expect the world to give them great things as a result of the time effort and work they have put in to being the best.
  • Luck:  Yes, I said luck.  Luck is when preparedness meets opportunity.  Everyone can use a little luck at times.  Luck does not drive greatness or a winner, but winners seem to find luck when they need it the most.  Some people call it luck.  Many other call it Karma, and winners tend to have very good Karma.
  • Karma:  what you give is what you get.  What have you given?  Have you given freely to others?  No one is a true winner unless they give back.  The universe and God favor those who give to others.  Oh yeah, it will make you feel great to by the way if you give juts to be giving and just to help others out.
  • Expectations:  Winners expect to win, and fully believe they will win.  Everyone else hopes they win and hopes they have done enough to have a chance to win.  Winners go all in because that is all they know while when most people are too afraid to go all in because they might not win.  They focus on how bad they will feel if they were to lose.  Winner focus on how great it will feel once they win.
  • Mental Game:  Winners understand how important each of the previous nine qualities and ideas are when it comes to making the big play when the game is on the line and eventually winning the game.  Winners know the importance of not just their physical game, but even more importantly the importance of a winning mental game.