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Practicing Change and thinking outside the box scores

Athletes train for change because it’s part of the job. They’re going to take the field, court or pitch and be forced to change direction.

It’s rare an athlete gets to run straight ahead unimpeded while doing their job, (the exception being track athletes, of course.)

They expect change, so they prepare for it.

In fact, if you were to watch practices you would discover that most of practice is about making adjustments and changing direction. They anticipate the scenarios they’ll encounter in a game or match and create drills that help them respond effectively.  

Anyone who’s ever played sports would tell you that’s what practice is for.

So how are you practicing for change in your career?

This is another example of using sports to think outside the box scores and have a bigger conversation about preparing for change.

  • How are you training yourself to be resilient and respond effectively when change happens?
  • Do you spend time encouraging your team to practice and prepare for change?

There are varying degrees of change. For athletes sometimes change is turning and sprinting the entire length of the field, sometimes it’s an adjustment of just a couple feet one way or the other.

For you change might look like a new manager, new ownership, a completely new role or maybe a role that’s been eliminated. It could also look like new budget constraints or work from home policies.

In any of those instances (and many more) your ability to navigate change is greatly improved by practicing for it ahead of time. Use sports as a springboard into having a conversation with your team at work, or maybe spend time journaling on your own and identify ways you can borrow an athlete’s mindset and set yourself up to succeed.


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