What a great weekend here in Detroit! Especially if you’re a Sparty fan (like me!). The MSU Spartans’ victory over UConn on Saturday night to advance to the championship game tonight against North Carolina was a great and thrilling thing to watch. You could tell just watching them they had one goal: They were IN IT TO WIN IT.
Playing a team sport like that teaches you that teamwork is made up of each individual doing their best to move toward a common goal. The Spartans’ teamwork and their pursuit of their goal is inspiring in many ways.
The lessons you learn from team sports can be applied to many areas of life and work:
- If there’s someone closer to the net, give them the ball to finish the play. Being on a team means that you have others there that can work together to complete the whole. Rely on them, let everyone’s strength contribute to the whole and by all means, don’t take the glory if you don’t totally deserve it.
- When your teammate calls for help, help them. In a basketball game when a player with the ball is doubled up on, he’ll call for another teammate to receive the ball to deflect the attention on him. Likewise in a business or personal relationship, when your teammate needs your help, give it to him to deflect attention and give your teammate a chance to breathe and move.
- Listen to your coach. Teams need a coach. In the business world, a coach could be the project manager, or the manager of a department that’s overseeing a special project that will create a better environment for all. In a family, the coach should be perceived as anyone who has the particular knowledge and talent to perform a given task. If the child is particularly talented at raking leaves, let your child be the team leader or coach for the rest of the family to get the leaves raked and piled together. It’ll teach confidence and the ability to compassionately lead a group.
- Congratulate the other team if they beat you. You can’t win all the time, so learning how to lose the game graciously will make you a more compelling opponent and a more respected adversary. This is not a bad position to be in because it will give you the respect you deserve and the recognition for your talents that you need.
Combining these elements will give you the tools you need to be in it to win it. So are you? Are you in it to win it?