Calling Practice

“Bring it in, team!”  the coach said.  The young, tired legs all assembled at the pitchers mound….

A colleague of mine runs a local non-profit Little League organization and recently described a scenario like this one.

“What are we doing here, guys?”

One particularly outspoken player said….”We’re practicin’, coach.”

“Not really, Jenny…..that’s not what I’m seeing.” the coach said shaking his head.   “You guys are just mailing it in today.  No hustle, no focus, no sense of urgency.  What are we doing, guys?  What is the point of practicing if we’re not trying to get better?  I mean, seriously, why are we here doing this?”

Why are we here doing this?

That strikes me as a BIG question.  Do you ever feel like you are in a rut?  Like nothing is really changing, that it’s the same routine day after day, week after week, month, year?

I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too.  And I think once you start to get mentally run down by the seemingly pointless, carefully orchestrated, unconsciously maintained, day after day monotony that life sometimes provides….it might be time to closely examine this question of “Why are we here doing this?”

Sometimes the answer is “because people are depending on me” or something along those lines.  That’s fair.  But I would ask…

…what are they depending on you to provide them?

If the answer is “a roof over their heads, food, drink, educational opportunities, etc.”…I say fair enough.  But I would also ask whether they are depending on you for anything else.  For instance, are they depending on you to model a particular behavior, or inspire some level of creativity, or teach them some important values beyond just hard work?

Are you responsible for modeling how to be “happily” productive?

Or maybe you don’t have responsibility for anyone else but yourself.  And if that is the case, well, the question still remains.

Why are we here doing this?  More specifically why are YOU there doing THAT?

What is the purpose?

Do you have a good answer?  You probably do.

If not, it might be time to call practice and think about it a little bit.


(Enjoying the content? SUBSCRIBE today to receive notifications of new postings. You can also find me on twitter @kencatmull or under Ken Catmull on Facebook.)

4 Replies to “Calling Practice”

  1. Why are we here? For the secular we are here either from careless birth control or a conscious mutual desire to enjoy children. For the non-secular we are here as part of a universal plan outlined in a holy book.

    What do our defendants expect from us? It varies by age but starving, wet, naked dependents will get you arrested and are unpleasant company. Self interest dictates responsible care.

    What is the purpose? It all comes down to SELF INTEREST. The non-secular go to heaven, stay out of earthly jail, enjoy pleasant earthly company, and take pleasure in the fruits of their effort.

    I’m sending missionary reps from Catholic, Mormon, Baptist and Muslim faiths to your door. You already know the secular case.

  2. Iverson’s comments highlights the ” I versus a Team” mindset. If you have the mindset that the team is better than the sum of individual talent, then as an individual your role is be there to improve the team effectiveness. Not just in playing the game, but as a mentor for mental preparation and development for new players. If on the other hand, the TEAM is full of slackers just going through the motions, then you have to ask yourself, “Am I on the right team? “

  3. Am I on the right team….and do I have the right leader?

    When I managed onsite teams there was this moment that would happen every once in awhile that always made me smile. A team member would walk up to me and say “I had this dream last night about work and…..”

    I would interrupt them and shout “I GOTCHA NOW!!! If you are dreaming about work you are All In!…..Sorry, please continue….”

    Team focused player revealed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *