Magic and Winning

so before the news gets to be too stale, just a quick update on the last two PTQs i attended.  i didn’t do so well.  at the ptq in LA on the 27th i went a very sad 2-3 drop.  i was trying to be a bit more creative with my deck builds but it bit in the butt.  <obviously>  since color selection can be so flexible, i really wanted to see if i could pull off something different than previous sealed builds.  i failed.  :\

in LA, i was also able to meet up with my team mate roberto–you’ll come to know him in time when he starts posting here.  he’s got a TON of information that’s going to be really helpful for players looking to get an edge on their game, so we’re looking forward to sharing that with you.

when reviewing my experience at PTQs the last month, i thought that there were a few things i didn’t do correctly on the “preparation side.”  i then came across an oldish article by mike flores that really drove home what i had done incorrectly.  you can get the whole article here (tipped by a mtgsalvation post)but the summary is that you have to “think” and “believe” that you won’t just top-8 but that you’ll win.  it’s pretty common in business and sports that if you aim for “top 5 finishers” that you’ll fall a bit short–this is really true when it comes to sales.   (you have to aim for 2-3x your quota or you’ll NEVER hit quota).  it’s a sad reality of life.

what stood out to me was the mental “i deserve this” that flores touches on.  he also mentions that when he wasn’t mentally prepared, wasn’t intrinically convinced of his superiority AND destiny to win that he’d lose, or fall just short of the goal.  at the PTQ i was actually prepared for (late November), i was also aiming for top8–because i figured that was the “next round.”  Ended in the top16…which is strictly “meh.”

his goal was to win.  and often he would.  i think this is SO important.  i was talking with a friend at the last PTQ (in san jose) who had a great pool.  his pool was really strong.  in fact, he’d beaten out a friend of mine who’s not only won PTQs in the past but he had a pool that looked poised to go all the way.  here’s the clincher.  after round 4 (where he beat friend 1) my friend says, “i’ll be happy if i top 8.”  he didn’t say, “i am going to top 8 with this deck.”  he was aiming for satisfaction at top8.  where did he end with his killer-consistent pool?  10th.  just short of his goal.  good showing, won a bunch of packs but he still fell short of his goal.

next ptq–or in this case Grand Prix LA–i’m going to win.  WIN.

as i mentioned, whether we’re talking sports, business or magic, you have to aim for the highest possible goal.  otherwise, you’re aiming for mediocre.  and nobody wants to be mediocre.

cheers & happy new years.  :)

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