It’s Not Just Sports Talk

By @ 02/08/12 in Everything, Nonprofit Focus, Our Culture

I speak in sports metaphor. It’s what I do. I grew up here in Sacramento, the son of one of the all-time winning high school baseball coaches in the area. How surprised are we that my vernacular was shaped by runs, hits, batting average and stolen bases?

Since starting my career in the nonprofit world, I had to slightly calibrate my frequent use of sports metaphors – as my coworkers were not readily equipped with a sports glossary of terms. “So, Scott…when you say that something is in the ‘wheelhouse,’ what does that mean?” (Sigh).

Since stepping out of the nonprofit world and joining the 3fold team to work alongside nonprofits, I have been able to step up my use of classic sports metaphors. In other words: “Scott, you are now free to rove the outfield.…play utility if you have to.” In the spirit of honoring some of the great sports sayings, frequently uttered by many of the greatest sports figures of all time – I thought I would dedicate this post to highlighting my fab five. No…not the Fab 5 comprised of Jimmy, Jalen, Chris, Juwan and Ray. The five sports cliches/sayings that if wisely applied, can work perfectly in your office setting.

Don’t believe me? Step out of the on-deck circle, into the batter’s box and check out below.

1. “Practice makes perfect.” Years ago, former NBA’er Allen Iverson was offended that he was asked to practice. He thought his prowess on the court was enough to suffice. But it isn’t. Work translation: put in the work prior to the game. Whether prepping for the pitch, rehearsing a presentation or role-playing a conversation…practice, AI, does in fact make perfect.

2. “What a homerun!” See also: it was a slam dunk. You get it. The homerun or the slam dunk. Easy points.

3. “It was a total can of corn.” In baseball terms, this refers to the easiest of catches for a player to make. In the work world, it means it’s not a challenge at all. It’s all yours for the taking!

4. “You just need to find your range.” Typically used in the hoop world when a player is searching for the distance he or she is most effective shooting baskets from. Work translation: find what you are best at doing and stick with it. If you are a good grantwriter – write grants. If you are a good salesperson – sell. If you are a good trainer – train!

5. “She really dealt you some chin music.” Chin music refers to a baseball pitchers use of intimidating tactics, by throwing a baseball near the face of the batter – without hitting the batter with it. Work translation: step off…I’ve got this.

 Back to live action. What is a sports saying you use often that’s translated to your work life?

[Image via adamsfuller on Flickr