Lessons learned while watching Wambach

posted in: life lessons, persistence, teamwork | 0

I just finished watching the USA women move into the semi-finals of the World Cup soccer tournament. In case you missed it, the United States team was behind until Abby Wambach scored a goal just before the game ended.

Earlier, it seemed like everything was going against the team, including several questionable calls. But the U.S. players ended up winning on penalty kicks when goalie Hope Solo made a great save and Ali Krieger made the winning kick.

I took away a few lessons from the game. I learned similar lessons from Landon Donavan last year.

The first is, as Jim Valvano often said, “Never, give up!” ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle says the game was a triumph of self-belief over skill.

The U.S. players kept playing even when it seemed like they were surely going to lose. Abby Wambach’s header into the goal came in time that was added to the end of the game because injuries earlier.

The second lesson is that sometimes you need to keep trying even if you fail the first few times.

U.S. player Megan Rapinoe had made a number of passes that had not found their mark, but her pass to Wambach was a thing of beauty. Rapinoe kicked it to the absolutely best spot for Wambach to score.

The third lesson was something I almost missed, have confidence.

I watched the replay about 10 times. On about the third, I noticed that Wambach raised her hand just before Rapinoe kicked the ball toward her.

Wambach wanted the ball to come to her, even though several players from Brazil were around. She wanted it, she got it and she tied the game because of it.

The next time you face an obstacle in your business or in life, have confidence, keep trying and never give up.

Lessons from high school athletes

posted in: life lessons, teamwork | 2

I went to my daughters’ school athletic banquet tonight. Team after team went to the stage as their coaches told about the seasons they had this year.

Each coach told about how his or her team came together, each in different ways.

Some coaches talked about adversity that their teams faced. Some had injuries. Some had other challenges. Each had worked their way through them.

One coach talked about nicknames that his team had adopted for each other. Clearly this brought the team closer together.

Another coach talked about the goals the team had strived to reach.

But the most inspirational words of the night came from seniors who had played their last high school games.

One talked of how he was grateful to have had a school that allowed him to participate in athletics.

Another talked about how sports had taught her the power of teamwork.

Another talked of how athletics taught her leadership skills.

All this got me thinking of how each member of each team gave up part of their individuality for the good of the team.

A star basketball player had to learn how to make the other players better.

A softball player had to switch positions to make the team better.

All this got me thinking of how I can improve the teams of which I am a part.

First I can look at the overall goals of the team instead of just my goals. If the team is doing well, I’m doing well.

Next, I can decide how my talents and my gifts can fit into the team. I’m on each team because I contribute to it. I can look at what part of my strengths will fit into the needs of the team.

Finally, I can look for ways to improve myself in every situation. The seniors athletes didn’t just go through the motions in their sports. They looked at how they could improve themselves in each game.

If we’ll look, we can find ways to improve ourselves in the situations we face. Do that and we’ll be winners no matter the score.

Steve DeVane
This network marketing system constantly teaches me how to improve my life and business.