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Stephen Mayo | A Different Look

A Different Look

March 20, 2022

There’s a regular soccer game on Saturdays that I joined a year ago. 

Many of the players are much more skilled than me.  From the moment I joined, I’ve been consistently amazed at their ability to control the ball in tight spaces and thread passes through narrow openings.   They consistently execute maneuvers that would be foolish for me to try.

With several of the players, at first I thought they were just getting lucky.  Their technique was not what I was accustomed to; they moved in a blur of motion, with limbs flailing this way and that.  They seemed to throw their foot at the ball, and it magically ended up where they intended.  They would barrel into a pair of opposing players and somehow emerge on the other side with the ball still in their possession. It wasn’t as crisp and seamless as the pros I’d seen on TV.  In my mind, I labeled their technique as sloppy.

But they connected their passes. And maintained possession. And scored goals.  Again and again. Consistently.  This was not luck.  Clearly what they're doing is a valid way to achieve amazing results.

And it had me wonder: how often do I dismiss another person’s technique because it doesn’t look the way I’m accustomed to seeing it?  How often do I judge a colleague or friend as ‘disorganized’ or ‘sloppy’ or ‘lazy’ or ‘careless’ because they don’t do things the way I would?

Probably more often than I realize. 

But I if would look more closely, with a more open mind, I might notice and appreciate the person more fully. And I might expand my own dexterity by discovering a new way to produce the great results.

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