Lessons taken from team sports

Practice Management

Lessons taken from team sports

Consider these lessons from a sports team for your own practice

Almost everyone in this country is involved deeply with a sport. Whether it’s watching their favorite football team on TV, playing intramural softball, or cheering their kids as they play Little League on a Saturday, we’re almost all involved one way or another. What lessons can we take from a sports team to apply in our practice today?

1. To win, you need a strong, motivating coach who is focused on long-term goals.

A coach may have the goal of going undefeated every year, but his or her focus is to build a team and program that is continuously getting better and stronger even though they may not be ready to win today. The coach has to believe and support his team, but also be realistic and focused on long-term success, not just in 2015.

The same goes for your practice. You need to set clear goals and build the right team while staying focused on your long-term goals. Remove distractions where possible, so you and your team can maintain focus.

2. People communicate extremely differently today.

Soccer’s quadrennial World Cup is quite possibly the biggest social media event in history. Facebook updates combined with more than 350,000 tweets per day provide fans a way to stay updated on games versus traditional media reporting. Even people resistant to Twitter were getting hooked on the app for the news, commentary and updates constantly provided by the social media outlet.

Social media has taken on new significance in our industry as a way to demonstrate your relevance to potential and current clients (or, maybe more important, their heirs). When your most affluent clients’ children search for information on your practice, do they search the web or Facebook first? No matter where they search, they should be able to find you.

3. Be open to change.

Sometimes a team will come up with a game plan they are confident in only to find their strategy isn’t working as they thought it would in the field of play. Even though the team may not be expecting much of a challenge from the team they’re playing, unless they are able to adjust and adapt quickly in the heat of battle, they won’t succeed and come home with a win. They’ll have to do some creative problem-solving to come out on top.

Our business is always changing, with new competition and evolving client expectations putting new pressure on traditional models of doing business. To succeed, you must keep up with change and look for ways to create unique and differentiating client experiences and better connect with potential new clients.

One of sport’s greatest coaching legends, New York Yankees manager Yogi Berra, once said, “The future ain’t what it used to be,” which is true because, thankfully, with the right team and the right approach, your future can be whatever you envision it to be. 

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