Last night, my ZogSports softball team, the Lousy Shirts (so named b/c we won last year and all we got were these…), won our second championship—back to back after winning the Spring/Summer league. In the earlier league, we went 9-0, absolutely crushing most of the teams we played along the way. We were scoring at least 15 runs a game, and had one of the best pitchers in the league to go along with a very tight defense.
Then, we ran into some trouble, losing two out of the last three to finish 10-2—still the first seed but going into the playoffs a little less certain about our inevitable destiny. So what happened? We settled down, played impeccable ball in the semis and finals, and beat out two top teams on our way to a championships. I’m not sure we made an error in either of those games. We knew what we had to do—what level we had to play at—executed, and succeeded.
When we were beating up on other teams, we occasionally got sloppy, swung at pitches we shouldn’t have, and didn’t necessarily play our best. Our lineup was so stacked, it didn’t matter—that was, until we ran into more formidable competition, which will eventually happen. Not going undefeated was the best thing to happen to us.
We basically repeated the same pattern in the Fall. We won the first four game of the short fall season in easy fashion—and then ran into two terrific teams that really put us in our place. We finished 4-2, limping into the playoffs as the fourth seed playing the first in the first round. Again, we put our heads down and played our game—great pitching, great defense, and lots and lots of hits. We blew out that team, which had previously beat us, 20-6, and then took the finals 13-9 to repeat.
Its easy to get high on your own supply as a startup—watching hockey stick growth on an initial launch, knocking down a big biz dev deal, but the road is long and hard no matter who you are. Keeping your head on straight is sometimes a function of getting knocked around a bit and put in your place—and I think you’ll be much better for it. We were!