Feel Sorry on Your Own Time

The football arcs high above the field seemingly in slow motion, reaching its zenith, then nosing over and beginning its plummet to the field below. On the 15 yard line the rookie receiver waits. No fair catch – he’s got time to grab it and start to run. He’s already thinking about where he’s going to go – first left, then back to the right.

He hears the pounding footsteps of the kicking team bearing down, the sounds of his teammates grunting and blocking them as they approach.

The ball gains speed and arrives a little quicker than he expects, he’s not ready. Maybe there was a gust of wind. It glances off his outstretched hands then bounces off his chest.  In his flailing attempt to pull it back in, he accidentally bats it towards the sideline. There’s a groan from the crowd.

Feel Sorry on your Own Time

He can’t believe what just happened. He drops his head, lets out a frustrated shout, and slams his palms down hard on his thighs. He should have had it. He’ll do better next time. He knows everyone expects more. He’s better than that. He’s trying to show he feels sorry.

But as he is going through this remorseful display, the ball is still bouncing haphazardly on the field. He has no teammates nearby. One of the onrushing tacklers scoops it up and runs it 15 yards to the end zone. Six points.

The failed receiver is still standing there feeling sorry at how he let his team down. But now the coach is on him.

Is coach mad that he blew the catch? Absolutely. It might have cost them the game.

But that’s not what coach is yelling about.

He’s yelling because the rookie was wasting precious time with his displays of remorse, instead of trying to get the ball back.

Just because he blew the catch doesn’t mean the play is over. Instead of standing there showing the world how sorry he feels, he should have kept his eye on the ball, chased after it, maybe even gotten it back. Or at least made a tackle before they got to the end zone.

That’s why coach is mad. Feel sorry on your own time; right now your job is to get the ball.

Feel sorry on your own time; right now your job is to get the ball. Click To Tweet

Listen to coach.

Mistakes will happen. Errors will occur. The ball will come loose.

Professionals stay focused on the ball.

Just because you miss the catch from time to time doesn’t mean the play is over. Don’t waste time feeling sorry about it.

Right now the ball is still bouncing around.

Go get it.

Add your thoughts in the comment box below.  And if you liked this post, be sure to sign up now for twice-monthly Leadership Updates with more tips and exclusive content not available elsewhere on the site!

Who else would enjoy this post?
About the Author: Ken Downer
Ken Downer - Founder RapidStart Leadership

Ken served for 26 years in the Infantry, retiring as a Colonel.  From leading patrols in the Korean DMZ, to parachuting into the jungles of Panama, to commanding a remote outpost on the Iran-Iraq border, he has learned a lot about leadership, and has a passion for sharing that knowledge with others.  Look for his weekly posts, check out his online courses, subscribe below, or simply connect, he loves to talk about this stuff.

Related Posts
Welcome to the Team!
It's great to have you join us!
Ken Downer - Founder of RapidStart Leadership
Please check your email
to confirm (and get a gift)
Get the leadership tools to help
2x Month * Direct Email * No Spam

They are ready to follow...

...are you ready to lead?

lead your virtual team

Subscribe now