Friday, October 18, 2013

Learning from Sports

For the first time in 13 yrs. I am not spending time on a soccer field or in a gym watching my daughter play volleyball. I have occupied my free time each fall engrossed in my daughter's sports. This is not a unique occurrence as more then 40 million adults each yr. do the same thing. During the past decade plus, I watched my daughter learn and grow honing her skills through discipline. Playing well was always more important then winning in our house, be the best you can be as you can't control how good your competition will be. Getting playing time was also important, especially in high school where patronage and status had minimal impact on who got the minutes...and now she is in college and a chapter has been completed in both of our lives.
I have to say, I am going through a form of withdrawal. It's something many of you can empathize with. Its also a signal of a rite of time passage. I am entering a different stage in my life, compounded by my new entry to the entrepreneur world. Safe to say There are 168 hours in a week and how I am filling them is vastly different then a year ago.
So what did I learn from sports:
1. If you don't practice your game will suck. Maybe you get by for a short period of time on natural talent, which most of us do not have. Practice is essential to improve skills, stay in shape and be ready for competition. In my new business it's important that I keep my skills sharp> I still teach, attend seminars and webinars and meet frequently with peers to keep a pulse on the industry.
2. Every year there is new talent emerging. My daughter spent her junior year pushing seniors for playing time and as a senior there were juniors pushing her. Lesson two, we don't live in a static world. Every year there are new players looking to take your spot, you can't rest on your laurels or on last years performance.
3. There is always a better team and better players. Best example my daughter's travel volleyball team went to national qualifiers one year. With a 164 teams in her bracket you get to see a broader world then your local competitionn. On day one they beat a team from Maryland only to get spanked by teams from South Carolina and Michigan. On day three they beat a team that was taller and more skilled. I think it had to do in part with heart and tenacity. In the end they finished tied for  53rd out of 164 teams...lesson learned, its a big world and there are always better teams and players, however there is the opportunity to have success despite this. 53rd does not qualify you for nationals, but there were a lot of teams behind her in the standings too...
4. Time is the one thing we can't accumulate. We use it and loose it. Thirteen yrs. was a pretty good run...time to find a new hobby. The final lesson is get the most out of every minute. And know when its time to turn the page...

No regrets here, just a few lessons learned. Time to start a new chapter...

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