I was reminded recently of how successful teams develop a language of their own. At times, deliberately impenetrable by outsiders, it provides terrific insight into what makes them tick.
As athletic track champions, Linford Christie and Colin Jackson devoured the globe. As they giggled like schoolboys recounting their Olympic and World glory, they mentioned mantras they created that spurred them on throughout many off-season months of training torture.
Despite one being an out-an-out sprinter, the other a hurdler, they practised their starts together. The one concept they loved from this time was,
Go on the B of the Bang
Don’t wait, no hesitation, be ready, and explode when the time comes.
The other juicy morsel concerned the opposite end of the straight. They felt that to truly succeed you had to view the race as lasting one metre beyond the actual distance. I thought was brilliant advice for any pursuit. As Christie put it, his aim was to,
Race to the 101st metre
As awesome as it is, this interestingly appeared to contradict his career-defining moment. Christie’s 1992 100m Olympic Gold at Barcelona was an amazing moment. But when he hit the tape, he didn’t dip. This was unusual. Yet if he had have done, he’d have taken the world record too…