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How to Win

Right Place, Right Time

“Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.” ~ Orison Sweet Marden

You’ve probably heard the expression, “I was in the right place at the right time.”

People talk about being in the right place at the right time as if it’s a happy accident, but that’s hardly the case. In fact, you can increase your chances of being in the right place at the right time. All you must do is be in the right place a lot. The more often you’re in the right place, the better your chances of being in the right place at the right time.

My friend Kevin Dilworth, unofficial historian on the singing group The Ronettes, tells this story: The group was appearing at an amateur show at the Apollo Theater. The act called for a young cousin, only five years old, to sing. But he froze. Veronica Bennett grabbed the microphone and began to belt out the song. That’s how she became the lead singer! But none of it would have been possible unless she had been in the right place — onstage at the Apollo.

It’s the same way in sports. If you’re a coach or an athlete, the more time you spend in learning and in practicing, the more you increase your chances of good things happening.

Sports psychologist Dr. Rob Gilbert often quotes Ollie Gelston, a legendary basketball coach at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Gelston taught three things:

Be in the right place
At the right time
And do the right thing.

For a basketball player, that meant going to the right spot on the floor at the right time, and then doing the right thing when he got there.

But Gelston’s three things go far beyond the court. If a player can’t be on time for the team bus, or for class, or for practice, how can he possibly succeed on the court?

It all begins with being in the right place.

Where is the right place for you?


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