You’ll never know just how good you could be unless you are right on the edge of your comfort zone, one step away from either failure or glory.
I have put myself in this position a few times in my career, but nothing puts things into sharper perspective than when your child is the one taking their step into the unknown.
I have written about my daughter’s netball before. Forgive me, but this blog will follow the next step on her journey. It has been a pretty nerve-wracking few weeks, and I am sure that many of the emotions will be familiar to adults when they consider testing their limits.
She has been playing with the town team (for the year above) over the last season. It has developed her immensely, but as the time comes to play with girls of her own age, it has become clear that the challenge is no longer quite there. She loves the sport, and she has long been concerned about the step back.
With a heavy heart and mixed emotions, we decided that it was worth exploring other options. We wanted to find somewhere where she would have to play and train her socks off, where every shot would be on the edge, and where team mates would push each other to be the best that they could be (while having a lot of fun at the same time).
Turnford Netball Club is one of the best junior netball clubs in the country. I never dreamt that they would look at her twice, but after a speculative approach and a hazy video of her shooting in the garden, they were keen to have a look at her.
It is strange how things work out, but her next game for her previous club just happened to be played on the court next to where Turnford were playing. The Turnford coach and I exchanged furtive texts (as at that point I hadn’t mentioned that she was leaving) and luckily she had a good game.
On the drive back, my daughter and I did some soul searching. Did she feel okay with leaving her old teammates behind for her personal gain? Would she be committed enough to play two games most weeks? Could she put up with me on the 40-minute car journeys? That’s a long way for a few games of netball. Would she even make the grade in the longer term? A few of Turnford’s recent juniors have gone on to play for England….
Change seems scariest when failure rears its ugly head. If you are putting yourself outside your comfort zone, it is a real possibility. However, I have never shied away from a challenge, and I was hoping that she would make the brave choice.
Last weekend she played her first u10 tournament with Turnford. Her teammates were amazingly welcoming, and although they had never trained together, you could see that she would fit in. They were undefeated over 11 games and won the tournament….
The mixture of relief and elation is hard to describe. We have embarked on a journey of change with no promise of success, but the first shoots of growth are already there. I feel at home on the side of a netball court, and it seems that Turnford is now our new home. They are all amazing netballers, but there is no better place to be for Lizzie to find out just how good she could be.
The memories of that day are still so fresh in my mind, and next time that I am faced with the possibility of change, I am sure that they will help me put my best foot forward.
If you test yourself against the best, growth is guaranteed.
Written by Paul Drury for Consulting Point