Among the many values of sports, there are three special lessons that transition flawlessly into life. Every successful person I have ever worked with has developed these three concepts.
FQ is more important than IQ
I was directing a basketball clinic in Salt Lake City, Utah when Dale Brown, the former Louisiana State University coach, spoke these words, “Your FQ is more important than your IQ.” He then explained that your FQ is your Failure Quotient. How often can you fail at something and have the resiliency to get right back up?
Pat Riley, the president of the NBA’s Miami Heat, wrote, “Success is getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down.” If there is one constant in the athletic world, it is that athletes will meet failure.
Baseball players must develop strong FQ’s because failure is a huge part of their game. Great hitters fail 7 out of 10 at bats. They experience failure 70% of the time. Basketball players have a similar experience. A player is an outstanding 3 point shooter if he fails 6 out of every 10 shot attempts.
The University of St. Francis basketball team I coached for 34 years played in a tournament in New York against the number 2 ranked team in the country. They were a great team and they beat us on a shot at the final buzzer.
Our best shooter, who was averaging 17 points per game, took 10 shots in the game and failed to make one basket. We had to play another game the next day. Before the game I told him, “If I see you open and you don’t shoot, I am taking you out of the game. You are our best shooter and you will shoot us into the national tournament at the end of the season.”…And that is exactly what he did because he had developed a resilient FQ.
Life can often be a struggle. Most of us will meet failure personally and/or professionally. There is a lot of adversity out there and none of us are exempt. We have to beat failure in life just like our player did in the athletic arena. We have to get back up. How? Two ways: Learn from it and put it behind you.