This past weekend, (then) No. 1 Duke rolled into Blacksburg, Va. to meet the Hokie basketball team as heavy favorites. Some of you might already know the outcome of this game and wonder why we, a Durham-based firm, would bring up this particular game. In this case, we were enamored more with the how and why than the end result itself. As it turns out, Duke fell victim to the apparent curse on this year's No. 1 squads -- and one more thing. A team ready to make a big game small.
As Coach K put it after the game, "We played good basketball." So how come they lost? Virginia Tech could've easily succumbed to the pressure of the situation: The ESPN College Game Day show was in the house, a national television audience and playing the nation's No. 1 team to name a few. But they didn't believe the hype. They believed their coach. And what was it that he said to the team?
You can watch it here, but he essentially told his team to fight ten 4-minute battles. Not the proverbial "complete" game of 40 minutes, or even the best two halves of basketball they'd ever played. Just go out and win ten 4-minute games.
By starting small and ending small, the players maintained their sense of urgency and the game never got completely out of hand -- look at the result. The Hokies were able to build momentum and confidence and ultimately they created a new memorable moment for themselves and the Hokie nation.
So keep ballin' -- set a few immediate, quickly-attained goals once you know what it is you're hungry for. This will help you build momentum and keep you hungry for the next milestone throughout your process.