I’m proud to have been recently nominated as a finalist in the Teignbridge Sports Personality Awards for my work this year in founding a new netball club and fun netball league. But it has all happened as a kind of accident. It has got me thinking about how I ended up volunteering to develop local grass-roots sports participation, and why it’s REALLY worked. The answers come from a combination of experiences as a business marketing consultant and as a level 2 netball coach.
Here’s what I think the business game can learn from netball:
1. NO RUNNING BACKWARDS
The first rule of any Back to Netball session is don’t run backwards, because you can’t see where you’re going (and you may hurt yourself or someone else!). The same rule applies to business. Why would you take your “eye off the ball”? The past does not equal the present. We’ve all seen businesses who seem to make the same mistakes over and over by doing the same thing or being stuck in the past. The reality is that time flies and businesses have to continuously develop in order to stand still. You create your future in the present and you can decide for yourself how much you let it affect you and your future.
2. NO SORRYS
Back to Netballers often have the wonderful character trait of energy and enthusiasm when trying out new skills. This can lead to frustration and ‘trying too hard’ which lead to everyone apologising to each other when they feel that they get something wrong. Netball, like business, is a team game. Saying sorry in a game can lead to disruption. If players on the same team were to apologise to each other every time they made a mistake, they would effectively distract and take themselves and others out of the game momentarily which is a bad idea. I coach my players to shake mistakes off and rectify them – ie. get the ball back!
This can apply in business. I have wonderful clients who apologise to me for not fulfilling their own to do list in order to forward their marketing strategy. I remind them that they are in control and I encourage them not to apologise but to adapt to effectively “get back on the ball”. Evidently there’s always a time and a place when major mistakes happen and then a sorry goes a long way, but having a plan of how to rectify the game plan afterwards is very important.
3. NO SELF-DEPRECATION
Although they are super keen to learn, many Back to Netballers lack in confidence. “I’m always bad at this”, “I can’t do that”, “I never do that”, etc. etc. are self-imposed limitations. I believe the way in which we inwardly talk to ourselves and effectively “coach” ourselves as players makes a big difference to our ability to perform. If you stop to listen to your inner monologue, you may be surprised to discover that you are tough on yourself, try being kind to yourself instead. Compare yourself to yourself, not to others. Confidence is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the better it develops. The same applies in business. If you don’t feel confident, you can try and consider how you would think and behave if you were confident. As I’ve mentioned words matter, so if you can have a kind word with yourself when you’re facing a challenge and think, “I’ve got this”, you will find a way to motivate yourself to win.
If you would like to know how strategic marketing can help your business performance, please contact Angela Consulting firstname.lastname@example.org