The players toed the line to run the last of the warm up striders. ” I want you to run one at a time,” I said. “Listen to the sound of each person’s feet as they hit the ground.” So, off they went, one at a time, each with a distinct pattern and rhythm to the sound of their run.
Later, as we were wrapping up the session, I asked each one to sign their name on the back of the workout. “Take a look,’ I said, ‘ do they look the same?” The answer was obviously no.
This group of girls has worked together since January. So much change, so much growth and yet they are still, thankfully, different and unique. Each one a one of a kind package of talent and potential with their own strengths and opportunities for growth. And, each one with their own special contribution to make to the teams they play on. Each one an unfolding work of art with their own signature.
Martha Graham, the American dance genius once wrote, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And, if you block it , it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
It’s tempting and natural to ask how I measure up or how I compare to other players but, as Graham reminds us that’s not helpful. A better question might be How Can I Contribute? Show up at each practice and each game and look for a way to contribute. You bring something that only you can bring in each moment. Sometimes it’s big, sometimes it’s not but it’s all yours.
It’s not easy, especially in this goofy, hyper-competitive, measure up world we’re living in but … as you practice it, over time , you’ll find it’s the most rewarding and in many ways most enjoyable way to approach your sport. All you have to do is bring what you got!