One key tenet of coaching professional sports is preparing people in the most realistic contexts possible. For example, a coach might pour water on practice balls to prepare a team for wet gameday weather. You can apply similar thinking to business situations. For example, you might work on rehearsing your pitch to potential VCs in front of colleagues you’ve asked to pepper you with difficult questions. You might create situations where a VC is late to the meeting — or is rushing you to finish your pitch. You might do the session in a setting that mimics what you’ll likely encounter in the real world, whether that’s a noisy coffee shop or an overheated conference room. By sensitizing yourself to the actual challenges you’ll face, you’ll become more adaptable and have a far greater chance of success.