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Have you ever forced the play?

Have you ever forced the play?

Have you ever felt so pressed or rushed that you didn’t take your time to put your best effort into the task at hand?  Maybe you cut corners or pushed too hard for perfection that you created bigger issues that had not existed until you forced the play.

Last week I was playing softball and we were doing very well, we were in a tight game that could have gone either way.  As we started the fourth inning, we gave up some base hits and then the opponent hit a triple and scored three runs.  The next batter hit a base hit and the runner on third scored putting us three runs down.  The next two hits were infield ground balls that should have been easy outs at first base but they did not turn out that way.

Forcing the play

Unfortunately, our infielders were trying so hard to make the throw to first base for the outs that they overthrew first base and created errors, that allowed not only the batter to reach first base safely but then continue to second base safely as well.

Our team had become so concerned that the opportunity to win the game was slipping away that our infielders hurried their actions or forced the play, which resulted in allowing the other team an even greater advantage.

Bad Throw

Best Play

Sport coaches might differ on the best approach for making the play but the two that I remember my coaches talking most about are:

  • Wait for the play to come to you
  • Don’t hurry or force the play

While these two ideas may sound the same, they have two different meanings.

Wait for the play to come to you

Simply put, waiting for the play to come to you means that you put yourself in the correct position to respond to the play.  In sports, that could mean that you have your body is in proper position, your focus is directed on the action coming to you and at the right moment you will launch yourself  into positive action and make the correct play.

With my personal and business clients, I will advise them to make every preparation they can to take advantage of the opportunities that come to them.  Then, believe that today is the day that the ball will be hit your way and you will bring your focused resources into play and close that sale, create that meaningful connection or make that life changing decision to move you towards a life of excellence.

Don’t hurry or force the play

This sports philosophy is more execution focused than the first.  For those that watch sports, there are hundreds of examples where when someone needs to make a play, they hurry through the process or mechanics so fast that they take a routine play and create a huge error.

I coach people and businesses to become aware when they are feeling real or perceived pressure to speed up their reactions related to an opportunity.  Those feelings to hurry can cause mistakes to occur in presentations, pricing or actual work.  On a personal level that perceived need to rush can cause for poor decisions that can affect family, finances or relationships.

Coach’s wrap up

We all have times when we feel that we have to act and act quickly.  The keys to avoiding mistakes when that opportunity comes and a quick reaction is needed is to:

  1. Be prepared
  2. Execute what you have practiced

How do you respond when the play comes right at you?  Are you in the best position? Do you know what you are going to do with the opportunity when it arrives?


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