A challenge for any kid playing little league sports is a desire to be nearest the ball in play. Getting your hands, or feet, on the ball becomes the overwhelming drive. It’s part of the strategy, right?
Look, the player with the ball gets the attention – they score the points, they get tackled, they get hailed, they get the injuries, they get the extra time on the field, they make the big plays and they get the headlines.
We watched football in our house when I was a kid. What happens in American Football? Everybody heads towards the ball to crush whomever has it. That’s the name of the game!
Um, soccer doesn’t work like that and any parent with kids in soccer knows exactly what I’m talking about.
One of our daughters plays soccer and what I’ve described above describes her first soccer season perfectly. Forget about positions, strategy, execution and teamwork. Forget one on one or zone defense. Every girl on either team is crowded around that ball.
There’s a life lesson to apply here.
As a result, coaches constantly are hounding players to think ahead, asking them the question, “What will you do when then ball comes to you?”
When players mature into their game they practice and drill on getting the players to “get in the game” and to think and plan ahead and they do so with every play.
I grew up playing outfield in baseball and I remember that process, thinking through what I would do as the play wasn’t over once I caught that pop fly.
Almost like me as a little league player in the outfield, we can enjoy the sunshine of spring, the cool breeze, see friends and family in the stands, watch the infield action and time passes by. Eventually that ball will come to you. Life may be going along its merry way, but suddenly you need to get your head in the game and make your move.
It’s impractical to plan for every eventuality. In my opinion, this is where having a strong and firm faith helps, but you can have plans in place for some things.
- Have 3-6 months of cash saved in liquid assets
- Have an emergency plan for your family if a natural disaster strikes – whom to contact, where to meet, etc.
- Rehearse a fire-escape plan so everyone knows what the alarms sound like, what to do and where to go
- Whom to contact in an emergency
- Have enough food, water and medications for at least 3 months
- Get out of debt or be working towards that goal as a priority
- I recommend having Life Insurance at an early age, preferably as soon as you start your professional career
- I also recommend Long and Short Term Disability insurance
A mentor once advised me to, “Have some ‘go to [heck]’ money.” (He didn’t say “heck.) If I were ever asked to do something unethical or needed to make a change of employment that extra cash would come in handy and spare me and my family undo hardship. I’ve found this to be very wise counsel.
This is just a quick list of suggestions I’ve found useful. Make some time to plan and come up with the right ones for you and your family.
There’s no doubt that change will happen to you. The ball will come your way and likely when you least expect it. Take the time now, between the “pitches” as it were, to think ahead and plan for what you’ll do when the ball comes to you.