There is a high school baseball player I worked with who was having a very good season personally (hitting .385 with an on base percentage over .450), yet playing for a losing team. He told me that his confidence was starting to drop because of all the losing his team is experiencing. He said that it was difficult to keep his head up and feel good about things and he worried that things would start to get bad for him personally as well if the team kept losing.
It reminded me of a personal situation I went through in 2007. At the time I was working for the St Louis Rams. I would spend Tuesday afternoons with the coaching staff and, as the season wore on, the team’s record got worse and worse. (remember that year the team ended up going 3-13).
I can remember feeling the same way the high school baseball player from above felt about going to my Tuesday meetings. Each week driving out to the Rams complex I felt a hole in my stomach and somewhat fearful of not being able to find the right words to try and help.
I thought to myself that the way I was feeling was making it a whole lot harder for me to be good at my job. The last thing the team needed was for me to come in there with my tail between my legs not knowing what to do or say to try and help. Then I thought to myself how would I be acting if the team was 10-3. I knew the answer immediately, I would have an aggressive approach and I would deliver my ideas in a inspirational manner-loud and full of myself. I think that is the most effective way for me to be. So I decided to act as if the team were 10-3 rather than the 3-10 that they were.
Although the team still didn’t win another game, I can honestly say that I did a better job personally because I took on the “act as if” approach. So my advice to the baseball player was the same. Keep your head high and act as if the team is winning if it will help you to continue to do your part to contributing to the team’s success.