You will struggle to find a better example of brand loyalty than from AFL supporters.
Year in and year out, fervent fans brave the winter chill to cheer on their favourite teams. Win, lose or draw we ride every bump, “booo!” every dicey umpire decision and lose ourselves in elation with every crucial goal.
Last Friday night, I cried myself to sleep after my beloved Hawks squandered a 3 goal lead to lose to the Pies in the final quarter of their preliminary final. My emotions boiled from confusion and disbelief, to rage and then grief stricken disappointment. I’m still hurting.
As underdogs the mighty Hawks played the game of the session, yet they failed to capitalise on it. A lack of belief, errors caused by inferred pressure and numerous missed opportunities cost them dearly. Such is the weight of the occasion on the big stage to win through to an ever elusive Grand Final. As a result the Hawks capitulated at the final and most critical hurdle. In contrast, Collingwood never stopped believing they could win.
Sport often imitates life. I see many capable people doubting themselves under pressure. Consequently they retract instead of forging ahead with focus. This is limiting and if the opportunity is important enough, it could really cost you. Stress affects different people in different ways. Some thrive and it enhances their focus and performance. Others regress into trembling fools incapable of executing even the tritest of fundamentals.
If you’re in the game―you’re good enough to win it! Never, ever, doubt yourself under pressure against a more successful rival. They have more to lose than you. Ignore the deceptive whispers of uncertainty. Demand excellence and when opportunity knocks―seize the moment! The cost for not doing so is paid back in years of regret, for some people they never get over it.
Every year monumental upsets are achieved on the sport and business fields. The most memorable victories are nearly always achieved by the underdog that truly believes they can win, not just by applying their skills but through sheer will. The underdog’s best friend is called, Belief; she’s an inspiring co-pilot, so never doubt her wisdom.