As you know this blog is dedicated to using sport as a conduit to understanding the importance of character development through sport and partially to spark some conversation regarding specific events that happen in the sports’ world.
One of the recurring themes that we’ve all faced is the importance of the “next play.” Since the time we were young our coaches (hopefully) have emphasized the importance of fundamentals, toughness and execution… but within those three critical points there is something else that I would add to this simple success equation.
Why thank you…. I’m glad you asked.
My point would be to simply “move on to the next play.”
What does that mean exactly?
Again… glad you asked.
Getting to the “next play” simply means moving on and learning from the mistakes that we’ve made in the past. No one… NO ONE makes all the right decisions ALL of the time. This is true in sport from the youth level all the way up to the pinnacle of the professional ranks… it’s even more relevant in our life decisions.
How many times have we (I know I have) beat ourselves up for a poor decision that has long since passed? Using the proverbial bat to whack ourselves over the head for a bone-headed decision that in retrospect shouldn’t have been made? Living in the comfortably-numb state of “If I had only….?”
In those moments if we could reach back to the times in our sport experience where we had to “move on to the next play” maybe some of our self-loathing, destructive thought processes could be eradicated.
Think about it… if you throw an interception or fumble in football – “next play.” If you make a turnover or miss a lay-up in basketball – “next play.” If you happen to give up a goal in soccer, hockey or lacrosse – “next play.” If you give up a home run or commit an error in baseball or softball – “next play.”
So if you happen to be in a negative situation brought on by a poor decision that was made in the past – “next play.” The good news is life never runs out of plays… until life itself is over.
Games always have a time limit.
I’m a true believer in the idea that we cannot move forward when we are labored with the ghosts of the past. Now that doesn’t mean that the decisions we’ve made in the past don’t have an effect on us today, but it does mean we can choose to move forward and attack each day to enjoy every morsel of positive energy it can bring… or we can choose to wallow in shame and self-pity refusing to forgive ourselves and get on with our lives.
The choice my good family is ours to make. We can worry about previous life events that happened to be negative and miss the excitement and goodness of what’s yet to come or we can simply run the “next play.”
Which will you choose??
Sport is Life.