Great Offense Triumphs A Great Defense

by Jeff Spencer October 24, 2018 2 min read

Great Offense Triumphs A Great Defense

Some of the best lives I've seen lived come from individuals who can carry steady momentum forward in both good and difficult times. Steady momentum feels like driving comfortably in the middle lane where the pace is just right. Progress is being made toward the destination, not too fast or slow, little risk of danger, good spacing between vehicles, and holding a conversation is possible.

A well-paced life is hard to keep in today’s rapidly changing world. And, sometimes it’s hardest to keep ideal momentum chugging along when life is almost too good.

When life is too good it’s common to see people back off of their ideal pace and slowdown in an attempt to hold onto their good fortune longer.

In essence, they’ve gone from playing a solid offense to an over-vigilant defense.

That, actually, puts their good fortune at risk.

A classic example is football.

When a team is ahead they try to protect their score by playing less aggressively and adopt what is commonly called a “prevent defense.” This defense is where the team backs up toward their goal line thinking that when they back up they have more protection against their opponents scoring with a long run or pass. This often backfires because the opposing team then does short passes and runs into the open field immediately in front of defenders that have backed up. The offense then marches down the field short yardage play after play then score from the steady momentum gained. The momentum shift from scoring then bolsters the team belief they can win and then they do a comeback and win.

A good defense at the expense of a solid and steady offense sounds great but seldom delivers.

Prolific people who succeed often know the secret to their success in large part results from them making their decisions out of what they stand to gain, not lose.

They keep a steady pace that allows them to carry momentum forward and adapt as needed.

At the first sign they’re speeding up they back off. And, conversely, when they start to play life too conservatively they speed up to get back in flow.

Another advantage of avoiding the too fast or slow lane is it conserves our mental and physical resources giving us more time and longevity to create more successes.

When life is too good keep playing your best offense in the middle lane as its what leads most predictably to the winners circle.

Jeff Spencer
Jeff Spencer

At just nine years old, I used to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to practice hitting a baseball up and down our street. That competitive spirit led to winning a national championship at just ten years old and then becoming an Olympian at twenty-one. For the past forty years, I’ve been a professional student of human achievement. I’ve been driven by this unshakable question: why do some people succeed and others fail? After retiring from professional competition, I went back to school to earned advanced degrees in health and wellness. In the decades since then, I’ve worked with athletes in nearly every professional sport, Olympic gold medalists, and millionaire entrepreneurs. I’ve had a front-row seat as I watched these world-class achievers do what they do. For more information:

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