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I Know Who’ll Win the NBA Championship

BasketballI love sports – and the NBA Playoffs are always exciting to watch!

What I love about them (besides the obvious talent of people like Lebron James, Tim Duncan, Dwyane Wade, etc.) is the strategy — from the coaches perspective — that goes into winning the game.

I even enjoy the interviews after the games. I pick up things that apply to my own life and to the music industry.

What I have always noticed, whether in sports or music, the thing that always makes the difference between winning and losing is the work and planning that goes into it before the game (or “before the show,” if you are a musician).

These lessons from the field of sports are good for us to learn, even if we aren’t athletes ourselves. Here are a few lessons worthy of mentioning:

Watching Film

Coaches and players both watch film. They’re always looking to get better, reviewing what they’ve been doing in practice and in games.

Same thing in music. I’ve found that the more my team and I work with an artist, the more time we spend filming and watching it back.

A warning here! Watching film is not enough. You need to know what you’re watching for, what you’re trying to improve, what will make a difference. Otherwise, you just as well watch a movie. (For more on this, see my blog Videotape Yourself – Backstage Pass required…)


Not only do I like sports, I also like watching documentaries about the great players. In every one I’ve ever watched (in whatever sport), the greatest players are always working on their fundamentals. They spend massive amounts of time working on the little things that will make the difference between winning and losing a game.

If you watched last year’s finals (and I expect to see the same type of thing during this year’s NBA games), just 20 seconds of Game 6 was the turning point! And it was fundamentals that made the difference.

Do I even need to draw the analogy between sports and your music? Fundamentals musically, fundamentals visually, fundamentals verbally… the more time you spend woodshedding, the more you can develop your uniqueness as a performer, become confident onstage, and display authority during your live show.


Something else to remember is the importance of teamwork. Everyone from the trainers to coaches to players must understand their role in developing a championship team or it will never happen — I don’t care how talented you are.

And that goes for life. We all need people who will build us up, encourage us, guide us as we take the steps to progress in our career. Not any 1 person knows it all!

In fact, speaking of the live show and teamwork, we’re here to help you develop into all you can be onstage. In the next few months we’ll be announcing some programs to help you not just get ready for one show, a showcase, etc. — but will help you understand how to walk out on any stage, prepare for any show, and (to be quite honest) be a cut above most everyone else onstage.

WARNING: if you decide to become a part of this, you unfortunately will not enjoy going to live concerts as much anymore… you’ll always know what could have been better with the artist you’re watching.

Oh, by the way, who’s going to win the NBA Championship? The team who scores the most points, of course! 🙂


Photo courtesy of *sean on Flickr

Tom Jackson

Tom is uniquely talented and skilled at transforming an artist's live show into a magical experience for the audience; helping artists at every level create a live show that is engaging and memorable, teaching them to exceed their audiences' expectations and to create fans for life. Tom has taught indie and major artists of every genre. He has worked with Taylor Swift, Le Crae, Home Free, The Tenors, Shawn Mendes, The Band Perry, Francesca Battistelli, Jars of Clay, & many more. Tom also teaches at colleges, conferences and events worldwide.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. Yes, Tom, I do believe that’s one of the most rewarding things about doing this music thing, at least for me. 🙂

  2. You’re RIGHT about not being able to enjoy (most) shows anymore! Half the bands I see live or perform with now, I just want to “Tom Jackson” them up!! 🙂

    I’ll be at the Popgun Entertainment event in L.A. this weekend, and hear one of your team should be there?
    Really looking forward the the learning experience.

  3. Tom, you are so right about not enjoying concerts anymore. When I actually see one that’s good, I’m completely floored! 😉

    • Leanne Regalla, it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed going to a concert! My enjoyment comes from working with a great artist who has a vision for their show, applies what I help them do, and then goes out and kills it live!

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