Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lessons from Sports

Larry and I were reading the local newspaper the other day – he had bought the paper this time, so he got first crack at the front section, and I got the sports, not usually my favorite, but this time the front stories were riveting.
The first thing I noticed was the photos - now, mind you, high school sports in this remote section of Arizona is fiercely competitive, and, to give credit to the photographer, the photos of the players show how intensely they focus on the ball. They don’t ignore the other players, but their total objective was getting the ball to its appointed target. It reminded me of something mentioned by Doug Krug, in his Enlightened Leadership Program, where he spoke of Tiger Woods and his legendary power to focus. He observed that if Tiger made a mistake, he didn’t focus on correcting the mistake, he remained focused on making the ball get to its target. These high school players seemed to understand that concept. Those photos are as exciting as those from any professional game. The players who have this type of focus are going to go far, with or without professional sports as their next goal.
The second observation came from reading a couple of articles further down the page. The first had quotes from coaches that were not only complimentary, but specific in analyzing the young men or women’s strong points, and encouraging about their future in and out of the game. The other article was about a losing local team, where the coach observed that in the first half, the players didn’t really go out to play the game. The coach was trying to hold back, but it was obvious he was disappointed in his team. And he said it to a reporter, where it could be put into print.
Want to bet who had the best chance for future success? The ones that were praised, or the ones who had their faults pointed out in print?
It is a matter of different teaching techniques, but I submit to you that if someone has the opportunity to build on their strengths, they have a better chance than the person who must concentrate on mistakes. When you concentrate on mistakes, even on correcting them, you tend to program the mind to repeat them.
The same goes for focus. If you focus on what went wrong so you can correct it, you won’t get as far as the person who never takes his focus off of his ultimate goal. It doesn’t matter if you believe in Enlightened Leadership, Power of Positive Thinking, or the What If Up! Concept I’ve talked about before, if your lessons can come from the strength within you, that God-Spirit within you, rather than where you failed, you will shine.
And you will. You will shine.

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