Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Foosball lesson

I have a nice championship foosball table at home, and recently my wife has been beating me (close games I might add). It’s neat how we can get pretty animated during these daily matches, while our stationary players stuck on steel rods just spin away. Last night after a great workout she challenged me again. I prefaced this match with a, “I hurt my left wrist from tonight’s workout, so my backfield won’t be scoring goals tonight.” (I have a killer spin that scores a majority of my goals from the lower left corner!) She said that was just another excuse to her beating me … no mercy, I tell ya! (This time my pain was for real, though.)

With not much torque action with my left wrist, this game I focused on my front lines to keep the ball past midfield and the backfield was strictly for blocking goals and feeding to the midfielders. Fast forwarding to the end, I won 10-6. Simply awesome!

Each time we take the field my four steel rods of foosball players take their positions and play their plastic hearts out. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. Nevertheless when called upon, they’re never late for practice and they’re always there at the games come rain or shine. One thing that kept them united was the coach’s guidance, and the players’ commitment to play until the whistle blew.

Isn’t this what the coaches see as the “big picture?” They’re constantly evaluating the players’ strengths and weaknesses and adjusting the game. In the past my backfield provided key goals, yet the other rods of players were always there and still part of the team. When called upon, they delivered as they were part of the team. They earned their place on the team and as they say, “A team is only as strong as its weakest member.” Last night the weakest members were the backfield, and the rest of the plastic players stepped up and scored goals and defended the midfield. Together they were able to beat the dominant dynasty my wife’s been coaching on the foosball table the past few weeks.

When you’re on a team you practice as a team, you play as a team, you win as a team, and you lose as a team. Each one earned a spot on the team, while some make receive more of the spotlight. It’s fine. Remember, the team name is what’s on the front of the jerseys, not what’s on the back. Don’t be just another number; be a team player. Earn your place on the team, but more importantly, earn the respect of your team. Be prepared to be in the shadows, but continue to play your part.

This is true as well in family life. Yes the figure heads are there to provide for the family, and the little bobble heads in the family continue to do their thing. When the little bobble heads have trouble with a school project do you let them suffer to burn the midnight oil on a second grade presentation or should you offer some suggestions for a more comedic approach in order to ace that oral? When you’ve had the most tiring day ever, do you lay down for some me time, or should you ask if your spouse’s day was even more frustrating? You can be the most relaxed and refreshed bobble head in the family, but your fellow bobble heads may soon bobble into shambles before your very eyes.

As my left wrist recovers, it looks like my four steel rods of foosball players will do just fine in the art of teamwork as they always have.

On a team, expect to be in the superstar’s shadow, but continue to play your role well, as you earned that jersey as well. Are your actions ready for the spotlight should that moment arrive?


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