Defining A Stand Out Performance

Earlier this week, I attended the last girls’ high school basketball home game with my husband and kids. I was quick to realize how independent my kids are getting at ages 7 and 8. I’m used to having to keep an eye on them so they don’t fall through the bleachers and run off all over the place during the game. My son was game-on the entire time – totally engrossed in what was happening at both ends of the court. My daughter was delighted sitting 3 rows behind the cheerleaders and had fun finding girlfriends throughout the stands to connect with and show off contents of her purse. Wow – that means I could totally watch the game myself for a change.

Rise above the rest!

The Southside Sabres were hosting the Landrum Cardinals. It wasn’t a do or die game and we were there purely by request of our kids who had heard the hype of this being the last home game. So the whistle blows, and the Sabres took the ball. Immediately my attention was drawn to #3, Chalice Pack. This girl commanded the court every second of the game – whether on offense or defense. She was intensely focused, driven and fast. Her free throws were well practiced and swooshed every time. She was the go-to teammate for everyone who stole the rebound. She communicated effectively to teammates with her arms, her eyes and her voice. Her layups were graceful and spot on. She’s the first to high-5 or fist bump her teammates for a job well done. She was exciting, determined and taking ownership of her every move. She was giving a stand out performance and nailing it!

Next thing I realize, it’s half-time and the Sabres are up 25-11. Woot woot! I found myself anxious to see what #3 was bringing out of the locker room next. The second half, she continued to show her stuff with consistency – another solid set of actions and reactions that took the Sabres to a win over the Cardinals. But, not before a Landrum opponent got thrown off the court for unsportswoman-like conduct. This girl was obviously fed up with the glory and gain of the Sabres #3. The Landrum player hauled off and pushed Chalice as if saying, “I’m sick and tired of you being front and center and stealing all the attention during this game.” Haven’t we all felt this way about someone?

Following what I’m sure was a celebration in the locker room, most of the Sabres gathered their gear and paraded across the court to head out to homework, getting ready for school the next day and family time. But not Sabres#3. She hit the bleaches smiling – on a mission to see as many of her friends and fans as possible and continue to give back her presence, thanks and gratitude for all of them being there.

Replace game with strategy. Substitute player with professional. Change fans to customers.

There’s an important lesson here too for any one in work or in life. Sabres’ #3 monumental accomplishment can be applied to any situation as an example of always doing your best to rise above the rest. And there’s no doubt Chalice is living up to her last name – she certainly is the leader of the Pack!