We are in the third month of the year already! My house has been on the go every Saturday and at least two week days for the last two months. I have two girls and they both play basketball. My oldest daughter started playing when she was about 9 and my youngest daughter played her first basketball game last year when she was 7. This was her second year playing with a team and she was excited to play again. Her first year she seemed to pick up the skills and rules really fast. She was stealing the ball and fast-breaking every chance she got it seemed. When it was time to play this season we all were confident that she would catch on immediately like the previous year, however that was not the case. The first few games my daughter didn't start. She didn't question it and frankly, she didn't even realize that 'starting a game' was something she needed to be concerned about. She continued to play and enjoyed the camaraderie. It was not until their fourth game that she began to shine. In the words of her coach that day after their win, 'a light came on today.' After that game and until their playoff game on Tuesday night, she started every game and played all 32 minutes of each game.
Although my daughter was not concerned about the slow progress, I was. I questioned why she wasn't starting, what she may have been missing in practice, and whether or not she was truly interested. I kept these thoughts to myself, thankfully, and was pleasantly surprised later.
Here's what I know - our goals are usually clear. We have either written them down, voiced them to a trusted friend, or mentally noted what the goals are. What is not all that clear is the path we take to achieve them. The process to get there can be a little scary. It could be that the path is clear initially, but becomes non-existent because of obstacles that are certain to show up.
During the good and the bad there will be a learning curve. Trying to achieve a new goal will be about trial and error - you can bet on it. There will be times that you want to quit. You may quit briefly, but don't stay there. Mistakes will be inevitable and adjustments made frequently. All of this is a part of your process. You will need to trust it.
As simple as it may sound, I had to allow my daughter to fall into whatever groove she needed to turn on 'the light'. I had to trust that she would grasp the concepts and trust her coach and his knowledge about the game and her abilities. I was forced to trust the process.
Our experiences will be different. There will be times that you will be able to share best practices, but don't compare your process with someone else's. Your journey is unique and the life lessons that come from it are priceless. The process is not easy to trust, but it is necessary to move forward. If I had interfered with my daughter's process the outcome could have been detrimental to her growth as a team player and as an athlete.
Trust, embrace, and move forward - remember those things as we push through the next month. Whatever it is you have planned, it is achievable. Trust yourself and the process.
Until next time in the safe place,