We practiced and practiced. Each girl on my U12 squad lined up in the corner, and one by one, they kicked the ball towards the goal as a teammate crossed from the other side, behind the defenders.
It's one of the first critical strategic moves in youth soccer...it teaches the player that against her instincts, she can pass the ball to a teammate rather than taking her own shot on goal. She learns that she can play an important supporting role, one that ensures greater success for the team than if she took her own off-angle shot.
And one fall day, everything fell into place and they scored. And they rushed off the pitch, yelling in unison "Mr. Levitt, Mr. Levitt! We scored! It worked just like in practice!"
I've done a lot of coaching since then...individual sales people, sales teams, sales leaders, business principals, and in many cases we've had significant breakthroughs in mindset, context, attitude, skills and results. We've improved sales results significantly. We've built stronger teams. We've turned around businesses. Clients are having fun in their jobs.
Some of my coaching clients have even given me a taste of my own medicine! (Thanks Myles Bristowe, you saved my butt big time!)
Yet, over all those years, and all that coaching, that one moment of absolute joy when the girls ran off the field yelling "It worked just like in practice!" is the one that stands out in my mind.