The Game Within The Game

Learn to celebrate the small wins first. When the big wins come, celebrate them both.

“Win small, win early, win often.” — Gary Hamel

Winning the game is not always possible at first.

So play the game within the game. Improve a little every time you hit the field. Each improvement then becomes your win.

I started a new high school field hockey program this fall.

The school has no seniors and only a small junior class. Most of the team is composed of freshman. Many of them are new to the sport.

We play bigger, stronger, experienced teams.

Wins are difficult to come by. So we focus on all of the little improvements made day by day and game to game. Each one is celebrated as if we’ve defeated a bitter rival.

These teams are forging us into something better.

There is nowhere to hide. No quarter is given. They come full force thinking us to be easy prey. But we are no such thing. We are cubs who will one day grow into lions. All we have endured will only make us stronger. And we will turn that strength toward them.

Even now they sample what we are to become.

They know wins will soon be hard to come by. Every encounter will cost them dearly. The tide will turn. Already we stalk them looking for weakness. Already we draw blood where once they were impervious.

I thank the game within the game.

It teaches us to find victory in even the smallest improvement. It keeps our bellies full while big wins remain out of reach. And when those big wins come, we will still celebrate the small ones.

The lion never forgets the lessons of the scrappy cub.


🤔 Food for Thought:

Have you ever faced overwhelming opposition?

How did you manage to survive?

Did you wilt under the pressure? Or did you grow stronger for it?


⚙️ One Small Step:

When starting something new, you are easy pickings for more experienced competitors. So find reward in small wins until the big wins finally come. And when they do, be doubly blessed with wins both large and small. Can your competitors say the same?