Monday, August 20, 2007

The Elite

The Elite: Lanny Bassham

95% of all winning is accomplished by only 5% of the participants. We call this group the elite. Why and how are they able to win so often? Is it because they are just talented or in the right place at the right time? What about opportunity? What role does wealth play in winning?

I've interviewed hundreds of the elite and I do not find an abundance of either natural ability or wealth to be a common denominator. You would think that expensive sports like shotgun and 300m free rifle would have more rich-kids at the top of the ranks and that just doesn't seem to be true. Many of our champions were trained by the military which is open to all. To be certain we have some wealthy in our ranks but do not think that your pocketbook is always the limiting factor to success. I can name more elite shooters coming from modest incomes than from wealth ones. Talent is a short term advantage and is soon overcome by hard work.

Common traits of the elite are abundant desire, an expectation to win, discipline, willingness to work hard, a belief that they can and will attain elite status no matter the obstacles and an almost religious calling to the sport. We can debate whether these traits are ones we are born with or ones we acquire. I think it might be a little bit of both along with a dash of fate thrown in. Just as soon as you think that someone has no chance to win because of no natural ability or financial status they somehow seem to win anyway.

I am certain of one thing. Winning belongs to those who think about the process of winning, who just cannot stand not to be among the elite and are ready to take action today to make it happen. This year I hope you find yourself among those on the winner's road. It is surely a narrower way but worth the trip.

With Winning in Mind---Lanny Bassham

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