Equipped vs. Prepared

You never rise to your level of expectations. You always default to the level of your training.

Heard that quote before on motivational social media channels?

Do you agree?

Consider this:

How many people have used…ever used a fire extinguisher or the fire extinguisher they have in their kitchen? So, to think that if something really goes sideways, and there is some type of gas or oil fire in your house were things are catching…that the first time you use this fire extinguisher…you’re going to use it perfectly properly?

That’s Tim Ferriss talking about being properly trained on the Aubrey Marcus Podcast.

It begs the question, is your team equipped and prepared?

Does your team have a fire extinguisher and know how to use it?

In 2017, our season had gone exactly according to plan. We had beaten everyone we thought we would and lost to everyone we should have lost to.

We advanced to playoffs for the first time in years, thanks in large part to the playoffs being restructured. Not our fault for taking advantage of circumstances.

We won our first round playoff game.

We scored first in the quarterfinals and led throughout against a team that was better than us on paper.

We were all in foreign territory.

The players had never experienced being in a win or go home post season setting.

I had never coached high school athletes who had no post season experience.

A series of unfortunate events occurred beginning from the end of the fourth quarter to the final whistle.

Things that don’t go wrong over the course of one season managed to happen in 12 minutes and it felt like it took two hours.

We gave up the lead and eventually lost the game all in the final 90 seconds or so.

(Have you ever blown a lead in the fourth quarter only to hit a pipe on the next possession and feel like you’re headed for overtime but the opponent scores in transition off the pipe shot with seconds left on the clock?)

In my mind, despite all the extracurriculars of that final quarter working against us, I knew exactly how I wanted to slow the game down to advance to the semifinals.

In post game, I wanted to blame everything on the extracurriculars. The problem was (and this is benefit of hindsight) we had never practiced this particular end of game scenario.

Our regular season experience did not prepare us for that moment. We didn’t have a situation where we had to nurture a lead. (I’d look up the scores but LaxPower is gone and I’m not related to Sean McVey).

Having had years of head coaching experience I knew exactly how I wanted to end the game. It was a combination of me not articulating it correctly out of timeouts and the players not executing out of that timeout because I hadn’t repped it out in practice.

The team was equipped to win the game, but not prepared.

We had a fire extinguisher, but we didn’t know how to use it.

Three months later, we opened fall ball practicing end of game scenarios.


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About the author, 412

10 years of Lax Blogging

If I had known I was going to move so much, I wouldn't have called it 412

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