It’s so easy to only pay attention to what happens when the bright lights are on. Those are the moments that matter, we think. Everything else is details.

Except that isn’t true. For every moment that is “on the spot,” we must practice hours “off the spot.” In hiddenness. In obscurity. Often in solitude.

Pros know this. They may not relish the practice room or the back field, but they know that the path to contribution runs through those quiet places. That’s where we become the kind of people who can handle the spotlight and the pressure of being on the spot. That’s where we learn to do things automatically that were impossible for us before.

So next time you’re engaged in a practice – secretly observing a great listener, or practicing your questioning skills in a routine one on one meeting, or sitting in silence for three minutes – take heart. Every well-spent moment off the spot is an investment in becoming the kind of person who shines in the spotlight.

Be bright