Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Would you make the cut? Play to win.

Today, Hanna finds out if she's made the cut for her high school's soccer team. She's played since she was in about second grade and if you asked her what she loves, it's  soccer first and French second. Nearly every summer she's made it to a soccer camp. She's the kind of player who shows up. Practices, games- she's there. She's gotten tough and field-smart, and she has two good feet. On her travel team, she's a top player. Co-captain.

But this is a new group, and the competition is tougher. This is high school. There are girls who are older, girls from clubs that are more competitive. Hanna's always shown 80% in try-outs; she's good at drills, but in scrimmages, she's never as aggressive as she is in games. She hasn't had to try out for quite a while, either. All in all, she's anxious, and I am too. Looks like about 10-15% of the girls trying out will be cut, based on what the Coach has said. Definitely not a sure thing.

Hanna's going to get an email later today with the results. I'll let you know how it turns out. This has been quite a reality check. She'd gotten used to the status quo, always good enough. I'm pretty sure that whether she makes this team this year or not, Hanna's already started stepping up her game. She's more aware of where she needs to focus. She's fired up about being a competitor in a stronger field.

The point of the story is that all of us are playing some game. We want to win. I coach the game of "money, time & impact." Winning is earning what you target to earn, spending your time the way you target to spend it, and making the kind of impact in the world that you target. The "game" analogy works, and Hanna's situation made me think about my own game, and yours.

Put yourself in her shoes- if you had to try out, would you make the team? Think about your "game" and what it takes to win. Take a look at how well you're playing. What are your strengths? How strong is the competition? Would Coach choose you? Would you be hoping for Varsity or ready for JV? Certain you'll make the team? Praying to make the team?

If you see anything less than you, playing at your best- using winning strategies, working with great players, then think of this as a time to start training. Get in shape. Practice. Focus on how you define the "win". As we head to another quarter's end- make sure you're positioned for yourbest winning season ever!

Nuff said. I'll be mindful and not use another sports analogy this month!

As for me, I've been working on some new coaching skills and focusing my game, getting ready for "back to school." I'm looking forward to helping you set practice targets for your law firm in a series of three short reality check conversations in September. Hit the FYI button in the blog sidebar, or sign up here to receive scheduling information.