Chapter 2. The Game Plan

High performers make and follow a game plan. Watch a football game. The coach carries a big two-sided laminated 11 × 17 sheet of paper with him during the entire game. He covers his mouth with it when he speaks into the microphone to tell the quarterback what play to call. There are hundreds of plays on that laminated sheet of paper.

They are all based upon the precise situation the team is in. Are they ahead in the game? Behind in the game? Is the game tied? Is it first or second down? Do they have the ball at their 20-yard line? Midfield? How about at the opponent's 20?

The coach has already analyzed his own team. He knows his players' strengths and weaknesses, their skills and deficiencies. He and his assistant coaches factor in the other team's strengths, weaknesses, and behavioral tendencies in any given situation as they prepare for the game.

They know that the other team passes 85 percent of the time when it is third down and 6 yards to go and 97 percent of the time when they are near midfield. Such knowledge makes defending against the other team a little easier.

They know what's coming. They have watched their behavior all year and know what they do in specific situations ... in every situation. They've gathered the intelligence and put it into a game plan.

Don't confuse a game plan with a business plan.

A business plan, the way most of us were taught to write one, is usually a big waste of paper and time. It gives you a best case scenario. It gives the ...

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