I was never a physically gifted kid.
I got picked for student government, speech and debate and a lot of intellectual (nerdy) stints.
When most people aren't good at something, they give up completely. I'm all for playing to strengths, so I choose to see sports differently. My "athletics" have taught me how to get street smart. I consider it the unwritten education you don't get in college or in a textbook. It's the stuff you get because you work a different side to your brain: the creative side.
(Yes, you have a creative side. Keep reading...)
So here are the 3 things we can learn from sports...
Anything we do takes practice and a commitment to using what we learn from that to get better. When I train for the marathon I wear the clothes I intend to run in, I practice what nutrition I'm going to nourish my body with to keep me moving, and I try a wide variety of workouts. I do whatever I can to apply my training to races.
"Champions keep playing until they get it right." - Billy Jean King
Have a playbook. When you put all of your eggs into one basket, what do you get? One terribly risky play. We need to stop telling ourselves we aren't creative enough and think differently by thinking ahead. Having a playbook is about creating options for different scenarios. It doesn't mean when the game starts that things won't change. It just means you are prepared to respond so when you're knocked down, you can get up off the field yourself.
"My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging" - Hank Aaron
You won't win all of the time. In fact, you will fail. I know, that's scary, but that's sports, business, money, and relationships. When you fail you increase your chances of success and ultimately winning because you are learning something new. Failure gives you the chance to tweak your playbook and practice again. It also is a humbling opportunity to pause, reflect and get up and go again.
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed" - Michael Jordon.
I've run a 6:28, 5:30, 5:28, and a 5:01 marathon. Each one taught me something new...and it gives me the chance to learn, play smart, and cross another finish line.