The football season, the most ridiculously scheduled yet thanks to buffoons and the allegedly corrupt at FIFA, on top of previously the most crazily ran couple due to you-know-what, is now done.
Pepball ascendant at home. Next Summer's continental nation knockouts loom excitedly over the horizon.
Apart from transfer saga soap operas, the lull is often a time for a sneak behind the curtain.
This year, I learn of the incredible advances this past decade in medical attitudes towards treating players.
You could argue that taking any two seasons a decade apart might yield similar leaps. But as is the way, today's are heralded as most dramatic yet.
Here's a trio of quotes [from behind London's Telegraph broadsheet paywall] that hold application in our solution sales arena.
"a player consists of their last 100 meals"
the late Nick Broad, sports scientist/performance manager at the likes of Chelsea & PSG
"it is not about the two hours a day you [perform], it is about the 22 hours outside of that which really make a difference"
Anon., accepted aphorism
"how 'sensory overload' is one of the biggest issues for players to deal with"
Dr Mark Gillett, current EPL medical advisor & formerly a first-team doctor
Parallels might be readily recognised.
How many days does 100 meals mean for a professional footballer? Less than a month maybe? What might we do 100 times over the course of a sales month? Every individual conversation, attempted transaction, and message sent may well add up to around this figure. Even during a single week. If so, we are indeed at any moment in sales time the accumulated product of them. What are the implications of this? How would we like them to shape the here and now? And how are we managing them?
It certainly isn't solely about how we perform on that crucial call. I remember vividly when I first ran headlong into old school phone bashing, just how jolting I found it that an entire day could hinge on a single, random thirty seconds. Let alone later when a period's target could swing on one particular ninety minute demo that month. What are we doing in the hours outside that key encounter to help best ensure progress when said encounter actually occurs?
When managing salespeople myself, I set great store on removing all the non-sales drags that might inflict (infect) personal sales performance. Sensory overload remains a potentially serious blight in any selling endeavour. What enables the footballer to think and act quickly, clearly and brilliantly among such distractions is similar to how we must dull outside noise and focus on what brings home the goals. How are we doing so?
Then, as an extra, what's next up on the horizon? Mark Gillett again; in order to manage "load", "muscle optimisation and power optimisation will be the things we are talking about in the next five years". Greater matching of what and when will best propel our sale to the circumstance and state of each opportunity.
Sounds like we've got a lot to get cracking on.