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Train Like A Pro Team! Go Raptors!

We all watched a historical moment in sports unfold last week when the Raptors took the NBA Championship.  Go Raptors!  As I watched game 6 on the edge of my seat, I was thinking about just how well they played as a team.  That led to thinking about what it takes to play with that kind of precision; so in sync.  Everyone knowing their role along the path to victory.  I know the answer.  The answer is training.  Tons and tons of training. 

For sure the Raptors didn’t just show up to the championships without putting in time behind the scenes to master their game.  For sure, more time was spent working out in the gym, on the court repeating the same drills over and over, coming together as a team all year long and acting out their win together during practise.  And to be at the top of their game, many more hours were spent training for it than playing the actual game. 

I don’t think anyone could argue that if you don’t continuously train hard to master your craft, you won’t be able to perform over the long haul.  Agreed?  Well then why is it that the number one question I hear from retailers is “How long will it take to complete your online training program?”  Doesn’t make any sense if you support and agree with the logic behind what truly makes for a top performing team…does it? 

My answer is always the same.  “It’s an on-going training program…you are never really done!”  I explain the professional sports analogy.  I add “Wouldn’t it be nice to be in top physical condition by only working out one week (or even one month) for the year?”  I know it can’t be done.  Believe me, I’ve tried it…I think we’ve all tried it!  You have to commit to a routine of training to get great or stay great at anything; but, when it comes to retail front line or store management training, this concept seems lost, forgotten, or missing altogether.

Another thing I hear from retailers is: “My team has been through the training 2 times already and are getting bored.”  It’s a valid statement, but consider this: Do you think the Raptors haven’t repeated the same drills over and over and over again and perhaps from time to time players may suffer from a bit of boredom?  Now consider this:  For those of us that work out regularly, how many squats, crunches, or planks have you performed in this past year at the gym?  A lot I am sure!  The whole rinse and repeat aspect of training is necessary to master whatever it is you are trying to master. 

Ok, the boredom thing is valid as I stated already.  But who do you think is responsible for keeping things fresh, exciting and motivating the team to keep striving towards the bigger goal?  That’s right!  It’s the coaching team!  In retail, that’s not just the Store Management Team.  It’s the District Manager, the Director of Operations, the VP of Operations and even the President.  It’s everyone from the top down and if it isn’t that way inside your organization, the culture needs a shift in mentality…in a hurry!  If you don’t believe me, think about Masai Ujiri’s commitment to the role he plays in the success of his team. 

If your training approach has a start and stop to it, it’s time to shift your thinking.  Graff Retail has on-going online training solutions just a push of button away and there is still time in the year for your team to be champs in 2019 too!  Go Raptors!  Go Retailers!

Blog Authors: Mary & Kim

Mary GordonKim McCutcheon

Mary Gordon and Kim McCutcheon have been supporting retail front lines for as long as they can remember. A dynamic duo, Mary and Kim understand what it takes to make training work at store level and know how to inspire, coach and support retail teams in all of their training endeavours.

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