Do you ever feel like you are sitting on the sidelines of business or life, waiting for that perfect shot or perfect time to make a move? Are you waiting on the perfect timeframe to launch a new business or product line? Are you waiting until you are better trained, more educated or have a smarter staff to integrate social media, launch a new website or kickoff a new campaign?
I have a story for you that I hope will inspire you to get off the bench. It's time you embrace life. It's time to give your life and business all you have. You won't know what you can achieve until you give it your all.
What Can We Learn From a Youth Basketball Team?
As I watched my 9 yr old son and his basketball team make their way to the final championship bracket this past season I was inspired beyond words.
This was the first year my son played on a formal basketball team. Of course he has played plenty of driveway basketball with his big brother and neighborhood friends. He's also played on numerous other organized sport teams including baseball, soccer and football.
He takes after his mom (me) so is a bit vertically challenged when it comes to height. He is unlike his big brother who already towers over me. To be honest, we weren't sure he would be that good at basketball given the height challenges. Even though he is agile and has solid endurance we worried he would be too small to really feel confident on the basketball court.
What Vertical Challenges?
Let me summarize this for you by stating, we were very wrong! He quickly became the “pressure guy” and immediately became the coaches go-to player to put pressure on the top opponents. By the end of the season his opposing team players rolled their eyes when he walked onto the court as they knew his defensive skills were unbelievable.
Once my son became the “pressure” guy he knew exactly how many fouls he could get each quarter and still stay in the game. At the first game he was almost in tears because he received fouls. The coach had to explain to him that it was his job and then worked with him the rest of the season for the perfect timing and balance to turn up the “pressure” knowing he would likely get the maximum amount of fouls and still stay in the game.
At the beginning of the season his team played a good defensive game but was shy when it came to taking shots. They lacked confidence. Their coaches consistently encouraged them game after game and practice after practice. They attempted and made enough shots to take them to the final championship game but we knew all along they could be scoring more if they would simply go for it when they had the opportunity.
Time to Go For It!
However, it wasn't until the final championship game that they started attempting more shots. The results shocked us all. They won 36 to 18 and took the final champion team title! My son even scored his first ever 3 pointer shot!
As I watched the final game, I had tears in my eyes. Seeing their eyes light up and smiles on their face as they made the shots they never thought they could, touched all of our hearts. Even the coaches said they were amazed how great they played.
Had they not attempted to make those shots, they likely wouldn't have won the game, nor the final championship title.
It's More than a Win!
They achieved much more than a title win. They learned what was inside of them. They learned the power of belief in themselves as individuals and as a team. They learned that you can't win if you don't try. You simply can't make the shots you don't go for.
10 Things We Can Learn From My Son's Basketball Team
1. Believe in yourself.
2. Believe in those around you. Believe in your team, mentors, management, clients, family and friends. You'll be surprised how much they can help you when the pressure gets hot!
3. Show up. Show up ready to rock both practice and game time. Give it your all.
4. Know your game plan. Be prepared, practice, study, know your role and have your game plan ready.
5. Know fouls are going to happen. Own them, learn from them and use them to your advantage.
6. Listen to your coaches, mentors and those who believe in you.
7. You don't have to be the biggest guy or gal on the court. Be you and bring your own unique skills and value to the game, every time!
8. Don't be afraid of failure. You will win some and lose some. Pick up the pieces, stand up and keep playing.
9. Don't wait until the last game to give it your all when you have it in you from the beginning.
10. Go for it. You will never make the shots you don't take!
What do you think? Are you sitting on the sidelines, holding back because you are afraid of fouling out? What if you went for it? What shots could you be making if you simply tried? What are you going to do this coming year to seriously kick some butt in your business and in life? How are you going to help others do the same?