Organizations spend millions searching for talent.
Sports teams spend hundreds of hours studying in dark rooms before drafts.
Companies interview prospects for weeks tying to find that next rising star.
And it's all a waste of time.
Because they're going about it backwards.
It's like trying to find out when a stoplight will change from red to green by studying weather patterns around the intersection or researching the correlation between light changes and amount of trees planted.
Looking for superstars by studying external factors is a losing game. Running fast doesn't guarantee great performance. Being strong doesn't necessarily translate to stardom.
What's on the outside is almost completely irrelevant. It's what's inside that determines a star.
After coaching elite tennis players for over two decades, it became easy to predict who was going to be phenomenal.
And it had nothing to do with their athleticism or their strokes.
The highest ranked players I ever coached came in all shapes and sizes and all played a different style.
I saw a girl who might have been 5'1" and might have been 100 lbs. become top ten in the nation and turn pro.
I saw a kid who couldn't hit a forehand (and actually played with the wrong hand) make the NCAA tournament.
I saw a kid swing and miss for 14 minutes in a row during a lesson and go on to become one of the top 100 players in the Midwest.
And I also saw the best athlete I've ever been on a court with struggle for four years before putting it all together and become an All-American (and a pro).
Tall, short, righty, lefty, athletic, slow of foot, good grades, bad grades, rich family, poor family. None of it mattered. I saw all types become standouts.
But there were two underlying themes with all of them. The willingness to learn and the commitment to try all the time.
If a player was willing to listen and learn, everything else was negotiable.
It didn't matter where they came from or how good they'd been up to that point or how hard they served or how quick they moved.
Are you open to learning strokes that have fewer flaws? Then you can be a superstar.
Are you open to learning how to play the percentages in a style that suits you? Then you can be a superstar.
Will you try as hard as you can to hit the ball in? Then you can be a superstar.
Will you show up every day? Then you're on your way.
That's it. That's the secret.
When I had a first lesson with anyone, you could see their future almost immediately. If he/she made good eye contact when listening and hit the ball in (regardless of form), it was almost a foregone conclusion. This was somebody special.
Scouting for a body type or experience level or family history would have forced me to miss out on dozens of amazing prospects.
But I never did that.
Because none of that external stuff matters.
Be coachable and be committed. That's the formula for superstardom.
It works every time.
My latest book is The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.