At some point during every pitch I hear, the entrepreneur explains her deck and financial models with vigor: “My team spent a lot of time preparing this data for this meeting,” or something along those lines. Well, obviously. When you come into a venture capitalist’s office with any chance of receiving funding for your company – your baby – the least you should do is prepare data. My question to entrepreneurs is, “How long did you spend practicing your pitch and role playing our conversation? In little league, children are taught the fundamentals of strong athletic performance and teamwork: practicing takes up the majority of an athlete’s time – not the actual game. Going up the spectrum to professional athletes, the ratio is only more heightened. Nearly 95% of an athlete’s time is spent off the field, perfecting his craft and improving upon his skills that impact his game – strength, speed, agility, coordination, and play calling. That way, when he steps on to that field, he’ll blow the competing team out of the water.