Every great athlete has been able to master himself first and his court, field, or arena second. Great athletes, lawyers, negotiators, closers have the ability to play and win the game that’s going on inside the game itself. If you want to be the top dog in your field then you should want to learn how to play this game because if you cannot master it, you cannot force your will on anyone else, or become victorious forcing your will on the game.
Anyone who knows the real Michael Jordan will tell you he is a heavy trash talker. He knows how to get into his competitors head and he dictates the pace of the game because it’s already going well and according to the plan in his head. Another great basketball player like Kobe Bryant is known for his tenacity on the court as well for his level of focus off the court and during the off season. That look in his eyes tells you that he will stop at nothing.
Yes, you must have the killer instinct and poise to keep your head about you while everyone else is losing theirs. It’s the definitive characteristics of all great men in history. Anything that would tell you “you can’t do it; you’re too small; don’t start now; you’ve never done that before” should be treated like the thief that steals the dream and poisons the mind. It ruins your mental game and can leave you posterized or gasping for air on the canvas.
Are you old enough to remember the great boxing era of the Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson? Can you recall the look on his opponent’s faces when they looked into his eye? They could not figure out a way to penetrate through his piercing stare. Mike made them feel little although he usually had the height disadvantage. Mike Tyson said he trained hard and was very fearful that he would be beaten, and would let down his corner or his mentor, Cus D’Amato. He trained with the fear and wrestled with it the entire time up until the fight. When he walked into the ring, his stone face would lock the secret away from his opponents that he’d been fearful the whole time. Michael wrestled his fears and won that battle while he was in the gym, before he stepped on the canvas. The game within the game was already won. Iron Mike transformed from mortal to God.
Like circling the track, looking for the tightest corner – The game within the game is personified by men like Dale Earnhart, known as the intimidator and considered one of the best nascar drivers of all time. His competitors knew his aggressive style of racing was because he had total control of his car and the pace of the race. Challenging Earnhart was like challenging a Jedi master or creeping up on a junkyard dog. Within the chaos of high performance racing – he was in absolute control – like Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the middle of a war zone. That’s the game inside the game.