A good friend of mine and co-founder of CaptainU sent a video along this morning that reminded me of a concept I learned from playing certain sports – most notably soccer and (during a few years in Tulsa) roller hockey.
In those sports, where both sides are shooting at a goal and much of your success is governed by the positioning of players and the angles of the field/rink, you’ll often hear team members encouraging each other to put the ball or the puck “on goal.” Putting it on goal is basically taking a shot at the goal where, if it was unblocked, it would go in, even if there are visible obstructions (like the goalie).
The reason you want to put it on goal a lot is that you really don’t know what will happen. The puck might ricochet, the ball might take a weird bounce, and the goalie might just miss it. The goalie might go to the ground to block your shot and a teammate might get an open look on the rebound. The more attempts you make, the more chances you have that something will break in your favor. But if you dribble the ball or control the puck around the perimeter and never take a shot (because you’re waiting for the perfect look), you have no chance.
As the video shows below, even the most ridiculous attempts lead to success sometimes. But you’ll only know one way or another if you try. And try again. And try again.