The determination of a kid to meet a goal can be exhausting, especially when it’s cold and you just want to go back home and have some warm chili and watch the football game. Especially when you’re not seeing any success in what said kid is trying and all you see is frustration. It’s easier to go home, get warm and try to get through the frustrations.
But that’s not where progress happens. Progress happens with repetition, taking one more practice shot and then one more.
Sylvia is playing basketball this year for her second season. Last year she played on a co-ed team which was more about simply learning what the sport even is. After the whistle started the first game last year, she stood and looked at us in the stands with her hands up in complete confusion, a look of “what in the world am I supposed to do” on her face. We pointed down the court and just kept yelling, “run!” The goals were lower, the balls were smaller and there was no keeping score. This season she’s on an all girls team where the goal is regulation height, the ball is bigger and there is defeinitely an intention to win.
Sylvia has done great at handling the ball, even getting a few steals in the first game and she plays some tenacious D. But scoring? Not so much. She could not get the strength behind her shot to make a basket, most of the time not even hitting the rim.
But she would not give up, even on that cold day at our neighborhood clubhouse court where I kept giving her words of encouragement, tempered with, “why don’t we come back another time” and “maybe you’re getting tired and we should go.” When we did finally get her off the court, it was with a pout of frustration at us because she wanted to keep shooting.
I had begun to think she was going to go the entire season without making a basket. Until this week’s practice.
This week, she made her first basket. I squealed like it was a real game. She stood in shock before finally turning around to look at me with a huge smile. She missed the next attempt, but then made her third. By the end of the night, she had made seven baskets.
From none the entire season to seven in one night. That’s what determination and not giving up can do. That’s what staying out in the cold and attempting shot after shot that’s not even hitting the rim does. That’s what one more try can do.
Her focus has inspired me this week. I set goals for my business and have started enacting marketing tactics to increase sales and reach. I watch my Pinterest monthly views fluctuate up and down, check my website for sales and new email subscribers. It’s slow and I’m not going to lie, sometimes I feel like Sylvia watching every attempt fall short.
But I’m going to follow her inspiration of determination. I’m going to keep on giving it one more try and one more try because all that cumulative effort starts to pay off. I’m believing that and acting on it, just like she did.
You should try it, too. You should make one more try and one more try. And then we should all make one more.
Because sometime that one more is the first basket of seven in one night. And that look of surprise and excitement on our faces is going to be priceless.