MAKING THE CATCH
Guest Post by Eric Stephens
It was perhaps the greatest catch ever made.
In November of 2014, Odell Beckham Jr. of the New York Giants made a one-handed catch for a touchdown that is still being talked about as one of the most impressive feats in football history. Though the Giants ended up losing the game, the sports media world flooded Beckham with interviews in the days following, wanting to know how exactly he did it. During a segment on ESPN, Beckham revealed that he specifically practices one-handed catches every day, acting out an endless number of scenarios so that he is prepared for every kind of catch.
But that is not a unique practice—all professional wide receivers train the same way. So what makes Beckham’s method unique? And how can we learn from it and apply it to our day-to-day operations?
What sets Beckham’s practice apart is his mindset.
He doesn’t run his routes hoping to catch the ball in an impressive, one-handed maneuver that makes the crowd go wild. Instead, his goal is to simply go up with both hands and get possession of the ball. To get the job done as efficiently and securely as possible.
But no matter how many scenarios he is prepared for, Beckham knows there will be occasions when it’s impossible to perform a two-handed catch—when, if he is going to make the catch, it will have to be with only one hand. And he knows that his team is counting on him to pull it off.
So he plans for the two-handed catch, but prepares for the one-handed catch—and that is what we must also do in our business.
This means that we can’t wait until a challenge arises to create a solution—we have to practice and think ahead so we are prepared for unplanned difficulties. Take advantage of the days when things are going smoothly and you are fully staffed, and send a few of your team members on break or assign them a special task that allows you to run the shift with fewer people. This way, you can call for help if needed, but also can prepare your team for the short-staffed days that will inevitably come. Those are the days you’ll have to make the one-handed catch!
Of course, you should always plan for your team to be fully-staffed, organized, and communicative. It will hurt your business to run consistently short-staffed or under-managed, even when it shows off your ability to make the one-handed catch.
However, if you only ever make two-handed catches—ie., staying in your comfort zone—then you are missing out on true success. Challenges allow our teams to rise to the occasion, to be proactive, and to work more efficiently. Sometimes the only way to get a task done is to work harder and stretch yourself and your team—so don’t shy away from a challenge!
To sum up:
- Plan to use both hands, but prepare to use one
- Anticipate challenges
- Stretch yourself
- Keep in mind that success only comes after a challenge
- Remember your team is depending on you
Like Beckham preparing for his incredible catch, if you prepare for the challenging moments you are already headed towards success!