For coaches, athletes, and teams, 2020 has delivered a full serving of both. With Fall sports being cancelled and postponed for so many teams across the country, there appears to be no end in sight. So is this adversity or opportunity?
The hard part isn’t the existence of these inevitable realities. They happen naturally, by choice or by chance. No, the hard part is how they show up, when they show up, and how we respond when they do.
Even though we intuitively understand that opportunity and adversity will roller-coaster through our lives, we will always have three limiting blind spots:
We don’t know when they’re coming.
We don’t know what they’ll look like.
In the moment, we aren’t good at identifying which one is which.
Apply this to current events.
Before 2020, did you ever anticipate that all sports would be postponed or cancelled?
Before 2020, had you scenario planned for a near total societal, economic, and travel shutdown where in-person interaction was limited or prohibited?
Right now, are you 100% certain whether you’re in more adversity or more opportunity?
The lesson for all of us: no matter how intentional and disciplined we are, we’ll never be able to predict how and when adversity and opportunity enter our lives. We can’t control it. We can’t dictate it. We can’t fit it to our pre-existing plans. We can’t shape it to our personal preferences.
More importantly though, is what gets overlooked the most. Opportunity and adversity always travel together. They are inseparable. When you choose to pursue opportunity, you invite adversity. When you step into adversity, you open up opportunity.
You’ll never be in all adversity or all opportunity. The only time that happens is when you choose not to see what’s beyond the surface. What feels like opportunity is often adversity waiting to strike. What feels like adversity is often a great opportunity that weeds out the undisciplined and uncommitted.
You already knew your team was going to face adversity this year. And it was going to have opportunities. You’ve always known that. Now you’re experiencing the reality. It doesn’t look like you thought it would. It doesn’t feel like it either.
You didn’t know COVID-19 was coming in 2020. You didn’t know it was going to affect you and your team like this until you were in the thick of it. Now you do. What are you going to do with this chance? How will you respond?
In significant adversity, opportunity is found by the people who seek it and captured by the competitors who create it.