“You are not having a good practice if you let his shot in.”
In a moment I should have celebrated, I overheard the coach say that to the goalie.
To understand, you need to know I was terrible when I first started playing hockey. When I decided to play at the age of 13, I had never even tried on a pair of ice skates. It was only a couple of months before the season started when I bought my first pair of skates.
My freshman year was embarrassing. My sophomore year was bad.
It took me 2 years before I scored a goal in a hockey game. I was not a regular on the varsity team until my senior year in High School.
It was a rough start. In my first year, I wasn’t even putting the puck in the net during the drills when everyone seems to score.
Until the practice when I finally beat the goalie.
All these years later, I can clearly remember the puck sliding across the goal line.
I remember it so clearly because it was my first time putting a puck in the net, even in practice. Because it was against the varsity goalie. Because the coach was standing next to the net watching.
And because the coach turned to the goalie and said, “you are not having a good practice if you let his shot it.”
This is the part of the story where I could tell you the lesson is about never giving up and believing in yourself.
I could tell you about the thousands of times I shot a puck against the side of the garage to get better. I could tell you about the hundreds of Peoria Rivermen hockey games I went to so I could learn the game by watching how the professionals play.
And the story could have a happy ending when I tell you I was the leading scorer in the playoffs my senior year, even scoring 3 goals and 2 assists in a single game.
But there is something else more important hidden in this story.
What if people believe what you say to them?
Instead of spending 4 years working to prove the coach wrong, what if I had believed I would never be a good hockey player?
Now, it is impossible to say how anything would have turned out differently for me had I quit hockey. But I can tell you, playing on the hockey team was my favorite thing about high school. If nothing else, it kept me out of trouble.
What I want you to take from this story is people might believe what you say, so why not say something worth believing in?
Sure, some people can push back to rise up against negative expectations.
But everyone is lifted by encouragement and appreciation.
This is why I often use The Jody Maberry Show as a platform for encouragement. Yes, I still mostly talk about business and marketing and getting your message into the world.
Now, I do it with more encouragement. If people are going to believe what I say, I want it to be something to make their day better.
If you knew the next person you talk to is going to make a decision based on what you say to them, would you approach the conversation differently?
Well, they will.
The next word is up to you. Make it a good one.