Skip to content

there are no points for not playing

November 2, 2012

A: Somebody is going to get hurt; and Boxes of different balls, basketballs, volleyballs, footballs

B: There is no room for anybody else.

It was absolutely engrossing and I just could not look away. Surely the bell would ring soon and bring the madness to an end?

Twenty-two kids and three balls on the same basketball court. Three separate games going on at the same time – probably four if you count the group that would occasionally ignore the main game and chase each other around the court just for fun. Getting to the basket was not as simple as getting by your opposing team, you had to get through the two other teams who were playing their own game! Sometimes the small group of kids who were playing with the soccer ball would be shooting at the same time as the large group playing with the basketball. Other times they all would meet in the middle with the kids playing their own game.

It was chaos and I was sure someone was going to get hurt.

And then a couple more kids arrived. Surely someone was going to stop them taking to the already crowded court? They must see there was no space for them to play.

Nope. They didn’t even blink. They walked straight on to the court. They bought their game and they played among everyone else already filling the space.

Which got me thinking about the spaces that I want to play in.

I am putting together a new coaching course focused on helping leaders at all levels craft and deliver their communications. It draws on my experiences as an actor and director, as a barrister and mediator and on some new ontological and psychological research I have been drawing together.  There is nothing like it in the market place – it is a different kind of game.

But there a lot of people who are vying for space on the court. There are a lot of people who may look at the game I want to play and say the court is already too crowded with people playing the “presentation skills” game. There is a voice in my head that agrees with them and is trying to convince me there will be more than two or three other teams running a full-court press towards the same goal and that they will stop me from finding a space for me to bring my unique approach. So why should I even try to get on the court?

Because you don’t get points for not playing.

The only thing that really matters is whether you are on the court. Sure it is crowded. And you are going to get bumped and jostled and yes maybe even hurt.

And sometimes there will be people shooting for the same hoop at the same time.

And sometimes they will make their shot and you will not. So what?

Show up and get on the court. You have the opportunity to play so play.


If you don’t the bell will ring and the opportunity will be taken away from you.

So that is what I am going to do. If you are interested in playing with me and taking a new and powerful approach to crafting and delivering your message then give me a call – there is always space for one more.


If you enjoyed reading this or my other posts you can subscribe and receive them via email simply by putting your email address into the Email Subscription box just on the right of my blog home page. You will receive a confirmation email (which some systems will think is spam so keep an eye on your junk mail) that you need to acknowledge to complete the subscription process.

After you have subscribed, send this post on to your friends. Go on. You know at least one person who should read this post… seriously. Do it now. You read this far so send it on.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2012 11:28 am

    I’ll be on your team!
    Everyone learns from play. Playing doesn’t not mean you ignore your adult responsibilities, it does give you down time for your brain.

    • Megan permalink
      November 8, 2012 9:27 am

      That’s very cool Sandie.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: