“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. ” ~ Babe Ruth
It’s youth baseball season here right now. Last night brought two games at our household – for my older son (13) and younger son (9). On the one hand, both games ended in defeat. On the other hand, both boys each had what I felt was their best personal performance of the year. I came home excited by their performances, telling them it doesn’t matter if you win or lose. But, was that the right approach?
As a parent, I was most pleased that my children performed well for the team. And, I believe both boys felt they had performed well. But their view was more focused on the team. They were more upset about losing the game than on have a great personal game.
Taking this all into perspective, the kids had this one right. It is better to share in the victory of a team over the individual effort of one. That is not to say the indivual effort is not to be praised. The key, though, is to meld together individual performance for the betterment of the team.
This, of course, applies to all team sports. But in can apply in other areas as well. Think work teams, or teams of volunteers, or family “teams”. When we can get everyone on the team (no matter what kind of team we have) working together toward a common goal, with everyone putting forth their best effort, is when we have the greatest opportunity to have a great team effort. Maybe this results in a win (little league baseball), or maybe it results in a successful software implementation (work project), or maybe it results in a successful clean-up of a local park (volunteer project), or maybe it results in a great family vacation (family). In the end, how the team performs trumps individual performance. Invidual performance plays a factor in the team performance, but only if it is in alignment with the team.
So, in the activities that matter in our life, it is important that we strive to give our personal best. At that same time, however, it is equally important that our personal achievements are in alignment with the overall achievement of our team. It is then that we will experience the true success of these teams!