In 1988, the US Olympic men’s basketball team had their worst finish ever (bronze), losing to the Soviet team.
In response, USA Basketball decided to invite NBA players to participate for the first time ever. The result was the most legendary team in all sports: The “Dream Team.”
Filled with icons who were recognizable by just their first name (Michael, Magic, and Larry), they annihilated opponents, winning by 44 points, on average.
But it was a very different story in their first scrimmage game against outside competition. A group of starstruck college players went up against their heroes. Their goal was to not get embarrassed.
They took a small lead. It grew. They waited for the inevitable comeback, where the Dream team would come roaring back.
It never came.
The unthinkable happened.
The college kids defeated the Dream Team.
After the loss, all these NBA legends started to take the practices more seriously. Play the games with more intent. Pay more attention to their coaches’ advice.
Many felt that the loss was a perfect wake up call. It motivated them in ways nothing else could.
The loss was almost too perfect.
It turned out, that their head coach, Daly, actually threw the game. He wanted the players to know that they could lose at any time. He sat Jordan down for most of the game and manipulated the matchups so they’d be at a disadvantage.
In what areas are we overconfident?
How can we channel Coach Daly and give ourselves a wake-up call? What might we gain?
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