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The Mulitiplication Factor
By Greg Shepard
Published: Spring 2002

Last August I did a Be An Eleven Seminar for a highly successful head football coach to kick off the season season. I had done two previous BFS Clinics for this coach at another school and he and his team were crowned state champions. Now, he wanted another BFS winning edge. Before the seminar, I walked out on the practice field. They were an awesome football team. Loaded with talent. “Who’s that?” I asked, pointing to a tall, lean defensive back. “That’s John (not his real name). He runs a 4.3 and has been rated as one of the very top defensive backs in the nation.” Their first game was against a nationally ranked team and I thought they easily had enough talent to win and keep winning.
During the seminar I presented the Be An Eleven concepts. Some of these are: Create your own value system. You have been given the noble and sacred gift of choice. However, you are responsible for your choices no matter what your circumstances. Choose to be an eleven. Be united in this cause.
As the seminar continued, the team chose to be united in winning the state championship. Things were going well, but John chose to be distracted by a unimportant cell phone call. The coach tried to get him to focus on the seminar and both of them left for a period. John missed about half the seminar. Afterwards, I gave him words of encouragement with a challenge to be an eleven.
The team went 6-4. John was ejected twice from games for losing his cool. The coach was continually distracted trying to deal with John’s problems. Finally, John was dismissed from the team. “After I did that,” said the coach, “the whole team’s attitude dramatically improved. I did not realize how much John was hurting our team.” We both agreed there would have been more wins without John from the beginning.
This team fell victim to the Multiplication Factor. Let’s say you have five athletes and they are giving a five effort in attitude and commitment. Well, 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 = 15,625 commitment and attitude points. Now, let’s say they choose to give a ten effort: 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 = one million attitude and commitment points. The difference is staggering. A ten is what you may be about to give on your own, but a Be An Eleven Seminar can give coaches and athletes an even greater vision. Now, these five all give an eleven: 11 x 11 x 11 x 11 x 11 = 1,771,561 attitude and commitment points. That is over a 77% increase over the effort of ten.
What about the above school and John? Sadly, John probably ended up giving an overall effort of three while his attitude also affected others. Some remained strong, while others faltered. Let’s say two stayed at an eleven, one fell to an eight while another fell to a six effort. Now let us multiply: 11 x 11 x 8 x 6 x 3 = 17,424 attitude and commitment points. In this example, this team lost 99% of its attitude potential. You simply cannot do that and win a state championship no matter what your talent.
Each team member is really important and can make winning contributions to a team in attitude and commitment points. You can’t control your talent but you can certainly control your attitude and commitment. Remember: Your talent can either be multiplied or divided. The choice is yours!

Greg Shepard

Return to Spring 2002 Articles

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