I looked forward to this high school basketball season.
My Patrick School Celtics garnered a top 3 national ranking after 6 high level division 1 players transferred in during the summer time. One player may be the #1 pick of the NBA draft when he becomes eligible at 19 years of age.
2 hours ago, on February 5th, the complete roster played together for the first time, nearly 2 months into the season. After 3 more regular season games and a quick county and state tournament, the season ends.
Life intervenes, sometimes. Everybody in the program had to adjust their timeline on the way to the postseason.
The Celtics will still compete for the coveted Tournament of Champions crown but they likely will not peak as a complete team until right around winning the title.
Eve of the Season
On the even of the season in mid December, the state suspended 3 star players. The governing board made the questionable ruling that since none of the transfer's parents moved to the USA with the players that each player would be ineligible. Never mind the players moved here 4 years ago from countries like Mali and The Congo.
Instantly, the season changed. 2 of the 3 players had to sit out 30 days – most of the high school season – while the 3rd player missed multiple games before injuring his ankle and sitting out an entire month.
Being beset by injuries and eligibility issues, up to 6 star players sat on the bench for critical games. Unfortunately, The Patrick School got blitzed in their 3 games against nationally-ranked squads, being leveled by sickness, injuries and eligibility issues.
Disappointment set in; national title hopes vanished 1 short week into the season but moving back the timeline from early season, lofty national expectations to late season, state title aspirations, has positioned the team to finish the season strong.
Being humiliated twice on national TV by elite opponents disappointed everybody in the program. The Patrick School legitimately could have won the national title if the team stayed healthy and eligible from day 1.
Being smoked simply humbled the team and also positioned all star players to come back hungry and humble for the state tournament. Every suspended player returned to the court with excellent games. The team's superstar looked like a future NBA lottery pick tonight in his return after an injury, throwing whip no-look passes and showing off elite athletic ability and three point range at 6-8.
Everybody on the team embraced disappointment, put failure in the rear view mirror and decided to live in the moment, playing energized and refreshed.
Change Your Timeline
Of course the head coach did not expect that February 5th would be the first time the complete roster would be eligible and ready to play. But he moved the timeline back 2 months and has the team hitting on all cylinders, prepping Pat's to peak in 1-2 weeks.
Change the timeline for your goals if need be. Seasonal shifts, soft launches, or flat out disappointing, unexpected stretches may cause temporary disappointment. Lick your wounds. Regroup. Move things back a bit. Delay does not mean defeat.
Maybe you launched too soon. Perhaps a proper launch is in order. Move back your timeline a few months. Do your homework. Research your customers. Observe your competitors.
Moving things back does not make you a failure. Planning more intelligently based on different circumstances and lessons learned positions you to succeed.
Never allow temporary disappointments to dampen your desire. Hug and release the sting of short term failure by holding your long term vision. Disappointments only delay the inevitable; success will be yours but you may need to change your timeline to reach your goal.
Be flexible, humble, and willing to take a different path toward your success.