Coming Through in the Clutch

by: Josh Bryant

The process of pressure creates diamonds and duds.

Think about the “clutch player” in sports, in business, or any activity. A clutch player is the person that comes through when the game or deal is on the line; the one who executes their best in a challenging situation.

“Big Game James” Worthy earned his nickname by being a clutch player. Worthy and other athletes and businessmen who come through in the clutch have learned consciously or unconsciously how to be the lawn mower when their opponent’s ass is grass. 

Some people have all the talent and opportunity, do well in practice, hit PRs in the gym, make the best investments when nothing is on the line yet when it matters couldn’t organize a pissing contest in a brewery!

In order to become a clutch player and perform under pressure, you need the right practice with the following three steps. 

No Pressure

How in the hell will you ever perform under pressure if you can’t perform with no pressure?  You won’t. The key is to learn skills under conditions where you are not over-motivated, this is practicing without pressure. Play cards with your friends before you enter the high stakes poker tournament, spar regularly before the fight, role play in your head before the important meeting, dance for the drunk ladies at the Chili’s bar before taking the Chippendales Stage.  You aren’t going to rise to the occasion, you will fall to your level of preparation!


In high school I worked for a total nutcase who inherited money and bought a hardcore gym. This guy never lifted a day in his life except once a month he did seated dumbbell shrugs with 20 pounds and made strange noises that sounded like a Siamese Cat in heat.  For example, my boss tried to get the police to investigate when someone wrote on gym’s dry erase board to vote for a city council candidate he opposed.  Point being, the owner could have taken the eraser and just erased this in half a second, yet wanted the police involved who literally thought this was satire! This guy needed perspective. You need to learn to evaluate so you see crisis situations in true perspective; do not make mountains out of molehills. There are 1.4 billion people in China that have no idea about the “big game”. Every challenge you face is not a matter of life or death, do your best and focus on the realistic magnitude of the situation. 

Be Aggressive

The best defense is a great offense.  Respond to the challenge you are facing with an aggressive attitude.  This is not reckless, you are playing to win, not to not to lose! Are you in business to build wealth or avoid being broke?  You have a built-in, success-seeking mechanism; a squirrel does not know the calendar yet stores nuts for the winter.  The pinnacle of God’s creation, YOU, have much more in you than this.  Keep your eye on the prize staying on your target goal like a heat-seeking missile.  With your positive goal as the focus, everything is on the table!

Final Thoughts

Far too many choke artists never succeed because they never remove their hands from around their neck!  Learn the art of winning by putting these outlined steps into practice.

It all starts with the mindset!  Build it with Jailhouse Strong: The Successful Mindset Manual