When I left coaching I told myself, I’d never go back. But I was lured out of retirement to help coach my daughter’s 8th grade basketball team this winter.
Last week we had our third game of the season and an interesting thing happened. Then an even more interesting thing DIDN’T happen.
The interesting thing that happened
Before the game a fuse blew in the gym rendering the scoreboard dead and unusable. So the game clock was simply kept at the scorer’s table. Us coaches were quickly very thankful that happened.
The other team got off to an early 21-9 lead which they kept adding to as the first half evolved. Blind to the actual score and time remaining our team kept playing OUR game, kept shooting and slowly but surely the ball started going in the hoop more often.
With six minutes to go in the game our team was only down by ten points.
The interesting thing that DIDN’T happen
If they knew the score and how little time was left on the clock there was a strong possibility the kids would’ve just assumed a loss was a foregone conclusion and mailed it in the last few minutes of the game. Instead, since they had no idea of the time or score, they kept hustling and played to their potential.
We came back to win the game in overtime.
As Warren Buffet once said:
“Games are won by players who focus on the field, not the ones looking at the scoreboard.”
That wisdom ain’t limited to sports.
The problem with scoreboards is they only tell you two things:
- What has happened in the past
- And the time in the exact moment you look at it.
The scoreboard can’t tell you what is going to happen in the future.
So whether in sports or business, it’s a massive mistake to decide how much effort to put forth moving forward based on a device that can only tell you what happened in the past and the current time.
Watching the scoreboard only serves to impair your drive for improvement. On the flipside, being mindful of your effort in the moment helps you create small meaningful improvements that over time can yield big results.
Trust me, I understand that in this volatile world full of uncertainty it’s easy to look over your shoulder at the scoreboard and compare yourself to the competition. The problem is doing so can make you second guess yourself.
What if you didn’t know how much time was left in your year, quarter or month?
For that matter, what if you didn’t know how far away you were from your sales quota?
You’d just keep working your process, focusing on the moment at hand as opposed to throwing in the towel or taking your foot off the accelerator.
You’d play YOUR game one possession at a time. Focusing on what’s is, not what was.
You wouldn’t be counting the minutes, you’d be making the minutes count.
You’d focus on what you can control which is your attitude, your process and your effort.
And the best part…
You’d maintain your confidence because you’d be relatively unaware that maybe the score or the clock wasn’t in your favor.
For more success strategies from the locker room to the board room, pick up a copy of one of my award-winning books.
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And it’s for a good cause because for the third straight year, the charitable arm of my business Coach Cares, has partnered with the US Marine Corp Toys For Tots program. So 100% of the sales from now until Christmas are donated to them.
And nope, no Cyber Monday deals here, for two reasons:
- You’re not buying a freaking 86” 4k flat screen smart TV here, it’s just a $15 book.
- Every penny raised goes to charity.
So here’s that link again Sparky: