Goals are made when no one is watching

There is nothing like accomplishing a goal especially when time is running out, it looks as though all hope is lost … and the referees and Brazilians are doing everything they can to stop you. That last part may or may not be applicable to your everyday life. Goals are very applicable, though.

The journey for Abby Wambach and the US Women’s soccer team to pull out their amazing victory over Brazil started long ago when no one was watching. It started individually before they came together as one team with the desire to be the best soccer players possible. They put themselves through hours of training, drills and games that only parents showed up to. Collectively their goal was shaped in a similar fashion. I’m not really letting the cat out of the bag by saying that soccer is not exactly the most watched sport in America, much less women’s soccer. Even as these women reached the top of their game, the attention and support that other elite athletes enjoy was not always free flowing. But that did not stop them from pursuing their goals.

Down 2-1 with 122 minutes gone the team’s hopes of World Cup glory were all but gone. The picture was bleak not too mention questionable to horrible calls by the referees and poor gamesmanship by Brazilians trying to run out the clock. But there was still time left and there was still fight left. They chose to keep going for the goal. The choice to fight against all odds to accomplish your goals starts before the quarterfinals of the World Cup. It begins on the training ground. It ends with a header in the back of the net.

Before we score our goals we have to set them. What do you want to accomplish today, this week, month, year, decade, life? Write them down. Don’t forget about them, either. Go back and read them from time to time to see if you are still moving towards them. Maybe you will have to rewrite them. I wanted to be a horse rancher when I was 7. I’ve ridden a horse once. When I was a freshman I wanted to be in the NBA. I’m a super white guy with average speed and jumping ability. My goals have changed.

Preparation is a must. I will say I did little or no preparation to be a horse rancher in my youth. Motivation was misplaced by cartoons. Basketball was a different story. I would shoot baskets and do drills for hours on end. I didn’t quite make it to the Association but I was a decent high school player and built some great memories. The journey to the goal can be as rewarding as reaching it, if we choose to enjoy the process.

Lets get real. There are times in life that everything seems to be going against us. The refs are bad. The other team is cheating. You are down a man (or woman). The shots are not going in. We cannot focus on the things that are going wrong that we have no control over. We can only control what is in our hands. What is in our hands is the ability to prepare, the choice to believe for the best and the resolve to not give up in the face of difficulty. It could be that the right strategies have been put in place, the best ideas have been tried and the greatest effort has been put forth and still there is no victory … yet. Stay on the field. Keep running towards the goal. The unexpected can happen at any time. Even at the last minute.

My freshman year in basketball we were playing our rivals Ballard. We were a small private school and some of our guys were not top academic all-stars. Three or Four of our players were ineligible to play because of poor grades. We started the game with five players but at the first dead ball Jared McGuffey had to sit the rest of the game. So we had to play a man down with no reserves for the entire game. Four against five … what are the chances of staying in the game much less winning? Somehow we played with enough belief and heart to stay in the game. We managed to tie the game in the last minute despite being completely worn out. With only a few seconds left, Jared’s older brother John was bringing the ball up the floor for a final possession. The opposing team was all over him and he lost the ball. It rolled to me on the baseline. I picked it up and shot it. The buzzer sounded and the ball went through the net. Pandemonium! We won!

Some might say that was a lucky shot for a freshman to hit in that situation. I disagree. The goal was made long before it was shot in that game. It was made on an empty concrete court by the dairy barn. When no one is there to see you, keep preparing, keeping training, keep shooting and when the real challenge comes nothing will shake you.


About the Author


Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.

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