Consistency is so important

By Roger Grossman
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW —  From time to time, people will stop me and ask for advice on how to be successful in the sports realm.

I am always touched that people think I have those answers, but the truth is that every path to success is different. Heck, the definition of success is different for every person.
But there are some common denominators for people and organizations who are deemed successful under general criteria for defining these things.

I think one of the biggest ones is consistency.

Because we are human beings, no one is able to operate their lives with 100-percent consistency. No one can be the same every day. It’s just not possible, and that becomes more and more true every day. The people who struggle the most in today’s society are people who have a lost expectation that what they knew was true in the past is still true today.

At the same time, business models that do find consistency tend to thrive in it.

For example, when you order a pizza from a national pizza chain, you have a pretty high expectation you know what it will taste like. When you walk into Walmart and Meijer, you know what they sell and you have a pretty good idea of where to start looking for it in the store. When you buy pop from the convenience store, you know what it’s going to taste like when you pull the tab or twist the lid.

That’s called “branding”. I talk with kids about it all the time, and I explain to them about how their social media presence is their first foray into establishing their own brand.

Branding happens because of consistency.

As I start the home stretch of sports broadcasting season number 33 here in Warsaw, I have come to a conclusion that I want to share with you today in hopes of helping you (and your child or grandchild).

It’s somewhat dangerous to share this, because it requires me to speak for coaches when I haven’t taken any surveys of their rank and file to confirm my hypothesis is true.
But here it goes anyway.

You have heard me say and read my writings about how players get more playing time, and at the heart of it is that coaches have to be able to trust a player to put them into a game.

How does that happen? That player exhibits consistency.

But I think (here’s the part where I could get in trouble with coaches) that coaches would rather have less talented players who are consistent in what they do day-in-day-out and what they offer to the collective group game-in-game-out.

Let me flesh this out for you.

In the world of sports, a basketball coach who has a bunch of guys on his team that scores 25 points one night and only six the next is a lot harder to manage than a team full of guys who are within a reasonable margin of error of their normal output.

Same thing with a baseball pitcher who throws six shutout innings while striking out 10 on Monday but walks 6 guys and can’t make it out of the 1 st inning on Friday.

Same thing with a golf coach who is trying to figure out what five people to put in the lineup when they have two consistent players and five players who might shoot 70 one night and 80 the next.

My hypothesis is that coaches would rather have people whose performance and attitude is not occasionally brilliant but is steady and consistent. They would rather have a hard-working group of guys they can count on each day in practice and each game, match or meet than a group of people whose flow chart of progress looks like a mountain range—high peaks, low valleys.

A coach who knows what’s coming from each player and from their collective team can better scout opponents and create more effective game plans fitted to their strengths and weaknesses. Again, even if the players are only slightly above average, if you know what you are getting then you know how to attack the opponent.

Sure, coaches would rather have a star-studded cast of characters that is both highly talented and extremely consistent. And occasionally we see that happen. But it is rare, and therefore special.

Consistency should never be confused with complacency. Players should never settle for the level at which they are currently performing at. If everyone works to improve, then consistency becomes more possible and the level at which they all are consistent will rise with them.

Coachability plays into this as well. If you are willing to be coached, you will get where you want to go much faster and with better staying power.

Of course, all of this applies to us in the adult world too. When our boss knows we will show up to work on time, that the quality of the work we do will be good, and that the people around you enjoy working with you, your boss is going to give you more responsibility.

It’s value, and we able want to be valued and feel falued.

Value comes from consistency.