Those who have known me for a few decades tend to relate to me as the nerdy jock from school. I played team sports from age seven through high school and college. I tried nearly anything that was considered athletic because I defined myself as an athlete.
I had to redefine myself after I was assaulted on my way home in January 2014.
But with Peter‘s encouragement, I took swimming lessons–at age 48!
That aided my recovery and put us in the right place at the right time to find a pick-up softball game to play in on Sunday nights. He tried to teach me to swim; I taught him to throw like a girl–a girl who played third base in college and was cut first round from the 1996 Olympic team.
We’ve been playing regularly since then with a diverse group of players that mirrors the depth of New York City. It has been a powerful experience that has reconnected me with some of the best lessons I learned growing up in team sports and playing softball in particular:
- Your body is the most important piece of equipment you will use. Take great care of it.
- Be ready to play, even if you start on the bench.
- Fundamental skills win games. Focus on advancing your runner on offense or getting the out on defense.
- Take wise and calculated chances. As Wayne Gretzky is credited with saying, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”
- There will be errors. If someone drops the ball, pick it up and make the play. If you are blocked from scoring, take the out with grace.
- People catch on to fakes pretty quickly. Have a deep bench and a personalized playbook.
- There will be fans. There will be critics. Neither is usually in the game. Or as my mentor and friend, George Rylander, once said, “If you’re watching the scoreboard, you’re not in the game.”
Not in the game you want to be?
Nance L. Schick, Esq. is an employment attorney, mediator, and coach based in New York City. Her holistic approach to conflict resolution draws from her experience as a crime victim, human resources supervisor, minor league sports agent, plaintiff, and trial attorney. She is trained in Alternative Dispute Resolution by the EEOC, FINRA, and ICERM. She served for two years as ICERM’s Main Representative to the UN. She is creator of the Third Ear Conflict Resolution process, author of DIY Conflict Resolution, and an award-winning entrepreneur, who has been acknowledged by the SuperLawyers (ADR, 2018, 2019 & 2020), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Kauffman Foundation, Enterprising Women Magazine, Urban Rebound NY/Count Me In. She is frequently quoted in publications targeting employers, funeral directors, risk managers, and small business owners.