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Never Forget The Fundamentals!

Let me take you back to July of 1961. The Green Bay Packers football team is meeting their new coach, Vince Lombardi, on the first day of training camp. The previous season ended with a loss of the NFL Championship game.

The players were eager to learn the advanced techniques and plays Vince Lombardi would show them.

However, Lombardi had a different idea.

He took nothing for granted. He began a tradition of starting from scratch, assuming that the players were blank slates who carried over no knowledge from the year before. He began with the most basic statement of all. Holding a football in his right hand, he said, “Gentlemen, this is a football.”

These were professional athletes who had been playing football their entire lives. And yet, he started from the very beginning.

Lombardi’s emphasis on the fundamentals continued throughout training camp. He stressed blocking and tackling. He began with page one of the playbook. His team would become the best in the league at the tasks everyone else took for granted.

You see it also in the European basketball players who join the NBA. They’re not quicker, or more talented, but they built their game on fundamentals. Hours of passing the ball, then dribbling. Then learning how to run plays and work as a team. Then eventually, they would focus on shooting the ball.

If any of you follow pro basketball, you will know the name of Dirk Nowitzki. He plays for the Dallas Mavericks. He comes from and was taught in Germany. He also was named MVP of the league and won a national championship.

He is also 7 feet tall. But, the remarkable thing about Dirk, is that he doesn’t play under the basket like most 7 footers. He plays the power forward position. Dirk owns multiple Mavericks franchise records, including career points, three-point field goals, free throws, rebounds, and points in a single game.

He credits his success to his coach, who worked constantly on the fundamentals. He’s 38 years old and is still playing and still working on the fundamentals with that same coach. He’s also the highest paid member of the Mavericks. He makes $25 million a year.

This pattern of focusing on the basics has been a trademark of many successful coaches. For example, basketball coaching legends John Wooden of UCLA and Phil Jackson of the LA Lakers, were known for having a similar obsession with the fundamentals. Wooden even went so far as to teach his players how to put on their socks and tie their shoes.

I tell you that to tell you this. In business, the fundamentals are just as important.

For instance, if you have a website, you constantly want to be doing keyword research, creating unique content and getting new backlinks to your site. These are fundamentals to growing your website business.

If you want to sell at a gun show, you need to focus on the fundamentals of properly displaying your products and engaging the people who pass your table. If you focus on those two fundamentals, you will have a successful gun show.

Picture of Michael Gravette

Michael Gravette

Michael Gravette is the founder of Safety Technology, a company that specializes in providing non-lethal self-defense devices. He is an Air Force veteran, serving in Vietnam in 1969 at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon. He started this business in 1986 with just one product, stun guns, operating from his home. Over the years, Safety Technology has grown to become one of the largest drop ship wholesalers of self-defense products in the country; offering a wide range of items including stun guns, pepper sprays, personal alarms, hidden cameras, and knives.

One Response

  1. I also heard when Lombardi said “This is a football”, one of the players said “Slow down Coach”. Don’t know who the player was or if he made it out of the meeting alive.

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