Life: Performing in the Clutch

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

By: Ahmed Malik & Jordan Scheltgen

We see it all the time in sports. Teams (and individual athletes) trounce opponents on their way to championship series, seemingly unstoppable in their quest to win the coveted trophy in their sport. They are lined up against a supposedly weaker opponent and the odds seem greatly stacked in their favour. Success seems all but guaranteed. Then, all of a sudden, they falter. At the moment when they are expected to execute, they fail to do so. A flawless season can be rendered useless if a team fails to win a championship. The ability to come through, to succeed when all the odds are stacked up against you, is what sets winners apart from losers. This ability, to overcome challenges and win when it matters most, is called being clutch. It is what makes us love the underdogs. It is that walk-off grand slam when your team is down by 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth. It is that buzzer beating 3-pointer in a key game.

We all admire great athletes who break records and impress us with their play all season long. Yet, nothing is more frustrating for fans than great players who can’t deliver in clutch situations. At the end of the day, the real winners are those who keep working hard, fighting and showing heart, especially when it matters most. The best players are those who become champions despite expectations and who use success as a motivator rather than an excuse.

Real life is not much different from sports. Whether at work or in school, we are always competing to get ahead. As in sports, there are others who may be more gifted, more successful and more fortunate than the rest of us. We can either use this as an excuse to linger in mediocrity or we can realize that it’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters. The key to winning is to be clutch: to deliver when it matters. Much like in sports, to face life’s challenging situations, you have to be ready to put in the necessary groundwork that will get you to that defining moment. Here are a few ways you can be more clutch in real life…

 

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