Coaching taught me that you better never call a time-out unless you have a plan.
What in the name of sweet baby Jesus are you doing out there????? is not a plan.
Once I made the commitment to come to a time-out with a plan to climb out of whatever hole we were in, I was forced to look at the game differently.
I had to see what we were doing well.
How else could I have a plan? You can’t tell your team Keep doing that thing that’s not working and hope to hell it works this time. When one part of our game fell apart, we had to make up for it somewhere else. So when I called a time out, I tried to start it with Ok, here’s how we’re going to fix this.
(Tried. Tried so VERY hard. But sometimes sweet baby Jesus got the best of me…)
In our worst moments, the plan was to take it all the way back to the basics.
Pass, hit, serve.
Do one thing right. Then do two. Then three and four and on and on until it’s finished.
Gabriel just played a game like this, against a team that beat them badly the first time they played. Nothing worked. Not one thing.
But this time, the defense got their feet under them and it was a different game. They still lost, but it was a victory too—they stood their ground against a team that is bigger and faster than they are. We can’t win every game, but we can win moments and quarters and halves. And sometimes that’s enough.
Life is like this, too.
It’s very rare for everything to go bad at once. Usually, it’s one or two things, but I can get so focused on them that I feel overwhelmed.
Instead, I have to see what I’m doing right, and keep doing it. I have to take it back to the basics of faith, hope and love. I have to solve one problem, live through one hour, take one step. That’s all. Just one. Then two. Then three and four and on and on until I am back on my physical, emotional or spiritual feet.
This is how we welcomed our second child, and then our third. We folded those babies into our lives one hour, one day, one week at a time.
It’s how I survived my cancer and post-partum anxiety—one doctor’s appointment, one medicine, one blood test at a time.
It’s how Dana is surviving her summer—one breath, one prayer, one decision at a time.
So when it feels like I’m getting beat four ways til Christmas, I try to remember these rules:
Don’t call a timeout unless you have a plan.
Focus on what’s working, instead of what’s not.
When all else fails, go back to the basics.
Do one thing right.