Craig O’Shannessy is the founder of The Brain Game, the epic center for the hardcore analytics and pattern recognition that make the difference between winning and losing a tennis match. As a top tennis analyst, Craig is part of just about every tennis venue there is. He comments on strategy at Wimbledon, writes for just about every tennis publication on the planet, and helps tennis coaches worldwide understand the patterns that drive winning AND losing a tennis match. Perhaps the greatest compliment to Craig’s unique approach are the top professionals that look to him for advice, including world # 1 Novak Djokovic!
Craig understands patterns. He has meticulously viewed thousands of matches, point by point. He recognizes the shifts in repeated behaviors and can help you understand how the leverage of patterns can make the difference between advancing to the next round or heading home.
An intense focus on the other guy starts the process. Want to know where Roger Federer will serve when under pressure? Craig can show you. In the Ad Court, get ready for a wide forehand serve. Think tennis is about long rallies where the ball repeatedly heads back and forth over the net? Nope. 70 % of tennis rallies are four shots or less.
I’ve known Craig for years and had the honor of being in his very early “beta” Brain Game class. He showed a game of Aussie Scott Draper serving to American Andre Agassi. Draper won three points in a row serving to Agassi’s forehand. On the fourth point (to win the game) he switched and served to Andre’s backhand. Agassi whacked a winner. Draper continued to serve to Agassi’s backhand and lost the game. Craig asked the class, “Why would Draper stop serving to the forehand when he had such success?” People answered; to mix it up. Nope! Draper had no idea he had won three points in a row with a forehand service strategy. He wasn’t paying attention to his opponent and he wasn’t paying attention to a successful pattern.
A Sales Application
If you understand patterns you can dictate a higher rate of success. Control the patterns, control the system. It’s true in tennis, it’s true in discovering new planets, and it’s true in charting your career.
When I wrote The 21 Secrets of Million-Dollar Sellers I was looking for the repeatable successful acts that top sales professionals followed. I interviewed 300 pinnacle sales performers and searched for their power behaviors, their go-to patterns. I wanted to know what they did that related to making a sale, no matter what product or service they sold. If I could identify these patterns I could provide a road map to success for any sales professional looking to build a top-line career.
Patterns simply point to a direction, like a pathway through a garden or the shortest distance between two points. When you can recognize patterns that lead to achievements you can also avoid those things that create barriers and cause missteps.
When the research is strong, it creates a type of menu of things to choose from. The next step in leveraging this type of information is to discover those patterns that fit your DNA. It’s a personalization process. Not every pattern will be a fit. There is no such thing as one size fits all. Craig would tell you; if your backhand is a weakness, there’s a pattern that will get you a forehand. With the right resource you will be choosing from successes and through others hard work you can avoid mistakes.
You want to get better at what you do? Look for the right patterns to follow and it will lead to growth and success.