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Lessons From Monday Night Soccer – Game 5

I believe that you can learn some of your most important lessons in life from failure. Depending on your personality, you can either dwell on mistakes or learn from them and move on. Learning from mistakes is the path I have chosen to take after the devastating loss at last night’s game.

If I put it into perspective, we (Stars) were missing both our regular and back-up goalie. We were missing 3 other players who always make valuable contributions to the team and I am still fending off the pain from last week’s twisted ankle. Are these excuses? Of course! Do they make me feel better? Yes!

That being said, there are no real excuses for losing by a score of 8 to 3! Not only is it another blow to our ego (after last weeks loss) but with a -5 goal differential we’re losing some ground against the other teams with similar wwin-loss records.

Through all of this, and a little reflection after drinks with the team, I learned some great lessons once again.

1. Don’t try to work with less people than you need to succeed
People get tired, cranky and start to fight internally when they are over-worked. Even when playing a sport that you enjoy, limited (or no) breaks ads stress to the team and creates unnecessary friction between players. Now imagine how this works at a job or work group! If a team of friends can turn on each other, certainly a team of employees will implode much quicker.
Lesson Learned: Know your people needs and fill it properly. If you’re moving into an important project, get the right people for the job and quickly fill any voids.

2. Re-confirm your meeting (game) time and location prior to the event
The league administrators changed the start time of the game from the regular 6:30 to 7:30 last night. As a result, some of the team was showing up 1 hour early and players were emailing to figure out when the game started. This didn’t cause too much of a problem; however, in different circumstances players may have gone home unable to contact the team for more information.
Lesson Learned: Create a distribution list for your team and/or make sure you are up-to-date on the time and location of important events.

3. Even if your offence is lacking, make sure you’ve got your defence covered
We started to get worried as the game wore on and put an in-experienced goalie into the net. Although she did great work in the position, we should have secured our defensive group better and, once again, put our people in the correct positions. Although we had many chances to score, on each of our goals we then let them turn around and score one of their own. With a better defensive mind-set we may have held them off and gained some ground in the game.
Lesson Learned: If you’re losing ground in one area, re-examine your strengths and weaknesses and reposition the team; however, do not sacrifice an area that’s working to grow one that isn’t.

As you can tell, I didn’t enjoy myself as much as usual during last night’s game. It wasn’t just because we were losing most of the game; I think it had more to do with the general attitude of the group. With too few players and by missing some key people, we struggled to gain a positive attitude right from the start.

Hopefully next week we can get back on track and add another shut-out to our record!

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Related Posts:
Lessons From Monday Night Soccer – Game 4
Lessons From Monday Night Soccer – Game 3
More Lessons From Monday Night Soccer (July 16, 2007)
Three Lessons From Monday Night Soccer (July 10, 2007)

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