I had an interesting conversation with a 5th grade friend yesterday afternoon (at his request!). He came to visit with me about ways to stay focused on goals and keep things in perspective—a rather insightful topic for a ten-year-old! I used the analogy of playing tennis in college (for PE credit) and my goal (at the time) to be the first unranked 18-yr-old to win the U.S. Open. 🙂
In my pursuit of personal tennis greatness, my lessons consisted of repeating coach’s words:
- Keep the racket low.
- Move your feet.
- Bend your knees–both knees, Beth.
- Rotate your hips.
- Low to high.
- Follow through.
- This is not volleyball; this is tennis…
- Don’t pass out.
One day I thought I was doing everything right and still wasn’t hitting the ball well. While contemplating my issue, I laughed as I realized I had overlooked the obvious: keeping my eye on the ball. I was so caught up in trying to do everything else that I forgot the most important part of the game!
Keeping an eye on today’s educational ball is critical…in our case at school, this is ongoing student success. We know we are not alone (in tennis or in life). Distractions cause us to lose our focus. We allow the trivial to get in the way of the meaningful. Busyness and stress keep us from developing the relationships crucial to building a winning career and team. We fret about the past, worry about the future, and take our focus off the present (Remember the quote: “Today is a gift; that’s why it’s called the present.”). Bombarded by information and distractions, we forget what is truly important. We focus on the outcome instead of the process and wonder why we miss our targets. We focus on everything else except the ball.
I encourage each of us to keep our eye on the ball. Get back to the basics; focus on the fundamentals. Remember what really matters and identify the simple principles and actions crucial to the success . . . Simplify, Focus, Execute. How will you keep your eye on the ball and take your game to a new level? 🙂