To the victors go the spoils! - Professional Carwashing & Detailing
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Sonny's CarWash College

SONNY's Carwash College™ Tip of the Month

To the victors go the spoils!

Competition is healthy and will bring out the best of your best.


Wow, time flies!

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Has it really been seven months since Dabo Swinney and Clemson defeated Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide 35-31? It’s kind of hard to believe over 210+ days have passed since Deshaun Watson hit Hunter Renfroe in the corner of the end zone to take the lead away from ‘Bama with one scant second remaining to deny Saban yet another National Title.

It seems unreal that it’s been over six months since Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to an improbable comeback over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. All Brady did was lead his team to 19 unanswered fourth-quarter points to draw even with the Falcons to force overtime and then lead the game-winning drive in OT. Surprisingly, 16 of the 19 points in the fourth quarter came on two touchdowns with two-point conversions, the odds of which converting both are astronomically against.


From the tone of the opening paragraphs, some might assume I am a Clemson fan as well as a Patriots fan.

Nope! Nothing could be further from the truth. Although I admire what both teams were able to accomplish last season, I follow neither. In fact, I don’t follow any particular NFL team, and the last time my Fighting Irish were relevant, they were seen being used like a group of tackling dummies by Alabama in the title game.

So, did I watch these games? Did I really spend three to four hours watching games in which I didn’t have a rooting interest? You bet I did. Why? For the competition! Two teams battling back and forth with the victors reaping the spoils of their efforts and the losers leaving empty-handed. In this case, Clemson won the Crystal Football (presented by Dr. Pepper, I believe) and the Patriots hoisted their fifth Vince Lombardi Trophy. Hardware that lives as proof of their victories. Something that can never be taken from them.


Closer to home, we have recently reintroduced a competition in CarWash College for the Instructor of the Year. The award comes with a small monetary reward and a trophy with the SONNY’S water drop on the top and the winner’s name engraved on the bottom with the year won. You would think the water drop was filled with gold the way these folks are competing for it!

Last year’s winner (let’s call him JJ) was the most deserving and a unanimous choice by the judges. He continues to excel in the CarWash College lab and will probably be on the ballot again this year. We had an instructor join us about half way through the year last year (we’ll call him Rick) who also excels, but we didn’t feel his body of work was complete enough to compete with the winner’s. He will probably make the final ballot this year. The fun part is, they both know it and are getting after it! Talk about a couple of guys upping their game to stay ahead of the competition! It’s truly fun to watch them both, as well as the others, compete. Again, what’s at stake? A piece of metal with a glass water drop on top of it and bragging rights for a year!


I saw on one of the carwash forums the other day a picture of a belt and jacket that a wash chain gives out to its most successful guide-on person. The belt looks like something out of the WWE, and I’m certain no sane person would wear it in public, but I have a feeling those employees covet that award like the NFL’ers do the Lombardi Trophy and the college guys do the Crystal Football presented by Dr. Pepper.

Do you have something to compete for within your organization? It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should show some effort on your part so that workers actually want to compete for it. If not, you may want to consider it and watch the results.


You choose the contests. Make them fun for the participants, but make sure they are results-oriented so that the business is reaping the benefits.

Try it! Make it a monthly, semi-annual or annual competition. Bring up the standings in front of the combatants often so they know when they have ground to make up or if they’re in the lead, and watch their attitudes.

Competition is healthy and will bring out the best of your best. It may also identify your weakest links.

Remember, if you ain’t the lead dog, the view never changes….

Bob Fox has over 30 years of industry experience and is an instructor at CarWash College™. Bob can be reached at [email protected] For more information about CarWash College™ certification programs, visit CarWash College or call the registrar’s office at 1-866-492-7422.


This content is sponsored by CarWash College. Sponsored content is authorized by the client and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Professional Carwashing & Detailing editorial team. 

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