Saturday, March 22, 2008

Past Performance is No Guarantee

A friend recently asked me to remember what it was like to be on a winning team. Fair enough. I did win a provincial championship one year (playing soccer). It's reasonable to assume that I was playing on a great team, a winning team.

Except that I wasn't. We won sometimes. We lost quite often. We were interested in all the things that interest teenage girls. Sometimes that included soccer. We were not high performing.

But.

We won.

One of the reasons we enjoy sports is that the high performing teams are sometimes out-performed by teams that have just enough heart and just enough luck to win a few games. They frustrate the high performing teams but they give the rest of us a special kind of excitement.

I coached a house league team of thirteen year old boys one year. They lost a lot of games. One father who spoke almost no English cornered me after a game we lost 9-1. He kept saying over and over "this not good." No kidding.

But.

Everyone gets a shot in the playoffs and somehow we outplayed ourselves - and matched the other team. We won the game in penalty shots. We won the semi-final in penalty shots, too.

We did not win the cup: mostly, I think, because we were overwhelmed by the excitement of sneaking past everyone else and making it into the final.

Some of you, like me, are celebrating Easter this weekend. The Easter story is about sneaking past everyone's expectations and winning despite the odds.

Sometimes we surprise other people. Sometimes we surprise ourselves.

Past performance not withstanding.

No comments: