There’s nothing worse than an unfair fight.
My daughter and her netball team are playing a team of experienced mature women and to make it worse the seniors have 7 on their team while my kid is on a team of 5. Not enough people turned up. Did the older generation show they were good sports to set an example for the teenagers? Did they suggest they even up the teams or play 5 against 5? No they didn’t. They just played on, scoring freely and easily stopping the kids occasional opportunities to attack.
The majority ladies were bumping into each other to block the kids. It was a massacre – 300 Spartans, the defenders of Massada … there would be only one result. The kids were playing to work out how they would lose rather than whether they might win. I asked the referee if we could even up the teams but she just shrugged and muttered something about rules. But then I saw something amazing happen…
The kids never stopped trying. Never stopped running. Never dropped their heads. At half time with 30 more minutes of one-sided play remaining and the score at 55-6 they united on the target of double figures. With no coach they were rallying themselves. I suggested saving energy when the ladies had possession as their dominance was such that the only hope was a missed shot and collecting the rebound. I also told them that each score of theirs was worth 5 so the gap wasn’t so bad. The kids bounced out and played their hearts out and I watched in awe as they approached, reached, and exceeded double figures. When they walked off exhausted at full time the score was 76-16 … which on my scoring system meant that against the odds the kids had won!
This was for me a fantastic example of attitude, courage and teamwork. The kids never felt they would win but they never stopped playing. They stopped worrying about what they couldn’t control, the stream of scores that the ladies easily sealed, and focused on what they could do – go for double figures. And not once did any one of them complain.
Capture that Resilience
How great would this be if the teams in public and private sector companies could capture this? In the next team-building session I run the delegates will be playing netball against the British gold medal winning netball team! That’ll create a team that’s resilient, together and will smash their target!
How resilient is your team? Sun and Moon have run resilience workshops for one of the country’s biggest banks. Could we help you?
Managing Director, Sun and Moon Training
Photo copyright: David Solomon