There is nothing like game day.
Now that our team hasn’t had a game day in what seems like forever, I’m tempted to say I appreciate them more than I did before.
However, that’s not true. I’ve always appreciated the chance to show up for and with my team and see how it shakes out.
Being “ready” doesn’t equal winning.
Working the process doesn’t mean the better team will prevail.
Being shorthanded, committing to your culture or being a great communicator means something to the game, they say, but regardless, the game will need to be played.
The fact that the game is always there is something we could always count on. Injured? Graduated? Quit? It doesn’t matter, the game will go on without you. Love your team more than anyone before you? Nope, it’s not important.
Just. Show. Up. We HAVE to give everything, but the game guarantees nothing.
I’d love to have that gamble in front of me tomorrow.
Some do, but most plays don’t require a second throw to get an out.
Good communication, a good understanding of the situation and a strong arm often will get you where you need to go.
However, planning and practicing for all possibilities is the work of a great player and team.
And more importantly, that strong play won’t be perfect every time and you’ll be glad that relay player was at the ready.
Expect the best, plan for the worst. Or something like that.
Sometimes we say, before attempting any thing, that we are excited for the activity and will enjoy it, or learn from it, “regardless of outcome”. True, we should always be hoping and expecting to learn from our situations, but too often this phrase is used as a built-in excuse.
We say, in advance, that we don’t really care about the outcome.
In sports, this is used when a team is young or inexperienced, or perhaps just unsure.
Having a good process and executing it well is for sure a key part of working any situation, but if we’re keeping score, planning and working to win is also part of the equation. Don’t give yourself an out before even starting.
Coaches, we hear, “know thyself” all the time. Starting by doing the work to know what we value, our team’s strengths and holes in our game can certainly help you in preparing your team for a competition.
Also, know your opponent. On the face of it, a good scouting report on their players can be helpful on game day.
Dig deeper, however, watch your competition with a holistic eye. Pay attention to the undercurrent, feel the ebbs and flows of their style and energy. Aim to see holes where they don’t even know they have them.
Find the “secret” to their game, the go-to or the “hope not”, the points in a game where they are most vulnerable or lose their positive energy…see those and attack them there and then.