Monday Morning Coffee – Defusing Demoralization

How do you suppose Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA) would fare in a basketball game against the Miami Heat?

If you’re not “Local Nashville,” MBA is one of the top performing High Schools in the city . . . and The Miami Heat is ranked first in the Southeast Division of the National Basketball Association.

Even on MBA’s best game performance, The Miami Heat would indubitably CRUSH them.

How do you think the MBA players would feel before, during, and after that game?

Defeated, demoralized, beat down . . .?

Would they learn anything from that humiliating 4 quarters of Basketball?

What would the Miami Heat get out of the game?

Not much more than whatever pleasure might come from annihilating an opponent.

This scenario happened early Sunday Morning when our 6th Grade Girls Recreational team found themselves on a basketball court facing a professional grade travel team. At half time, the score was 24-2 . . . the longest and most frustrating/agonizing 20 minutes of Basketball I’ve witnessed in years.

The setting was the WNSL (West Nashville Sports League) Christmas Tournament in which all of the teams were to be “Rec Teams” . . . Apparently The Panthers were less than truthful when they entered the tournament and claimed themselves to be a rec team . . . Clearly not the case as their entourage of coaches, parents, and players entered the court wearing logo wear that any Pro Team would be proud to wear.

We knew that they had already crushed all of their opponents in prior games, so we were braced for a bruising . . . even so, it didn’t feel good when it happened.

If you’re the coach of this team of 12 year old girls being pummeled, what d’ya do?

Coach David and I talked before the game and decided that we had no other alternative than to have some FUN and be sure our players would LEARN something. So David introduced some new plays and strategies “on the fly” . . . and our players RESPONDED.

Their morale held strong and believe it or not, the final score of the game was 30-6 . . . The Panthers only scored 6 points in the 2nd half, and we scored 4.

Markedly different than the first half of the game.

What did David say to these girls to REmotivate them?

  • “I’m PROUD of ALL of you?”
  • “You can choose to quit and be miserable . . . or to have FUN!”
  • “Play as hard as you can this 2nd half, and let’s see what we can do!”
  • “If you get ANYWHERE near the goal, throw the ball at that goal . . . It doesn’t matter if you don’t score if you have at least put the ball up there.

When the game was over, there was CELEBRATION. Our players had given it ALL . . . they left it ALL on the court . . . and I believe they surprised The mighty Panthers.

Sometimes life gives ya lemons.

Don’t let those lemons EVER keep you from having fun and LEARNING.

We all have times in our lives when we cannot possibly see our way through . . . when the outlook is dim and demoralizing . . .

Listen to coach David and leave it ALL on the court in the 2nd half.

I’m proud of ya!


Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

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