IN sports, the concept of winning and losing is central to the game. However, focusing solely on winning can lead to short-term thinking and a lack of sustainability.
Instead, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were all able (coaches especially) to adopt an “infinite game” mindset, where the goal is not to win but to just keep playing?
The first principle of being an infinite player is to have a clear sense of purpose beyond winning. This purpose can be something as simple as playing for the love of the game, or it can be something more significant, such as playing to represent your community or to inspire others.
Whatever the purpose may be, having a higher goal beyond winning can help you stay motivated and focused, even when things get tough. Finite players usually become demotivated or give up if they are not winning, leading to a lack of resilience and perseverance.
The second principle of being an infinite player is to focus on continuous improvement. In the infinite game, there is no finish line or end point, so the goal is not to be the best but to be better than you were yesterday. This means constantly seeking out opportunities for growth and development, whether it’s through training, coaching, or learning from other players.
The third principle of being an infinite player in sports is to build trusting relationships with your teammates, coaches, and fans. In the infinite game, relationships are key, and trust is the foundation upon which those relationships are built.
When you trust your teammates, you can rely on them to support you and to work towards the common goal. When you trust your coaches, you can be confident that they have your best interests at heart and are working to help you improve.
And when you trust your fans, you can feel the support and motivation they provide, which can be a powerful source of energy and inspiration.
In contrast, a finite player may prioritise their own success over the success of the team, leading to a lack of cohesion and trust.
This can make it difficult for the team to work together effectively and can ultimately harm their chances of success.
The fourth principle of being an infinite player is to embrace a growth mindset. In the infinite game, there is always room for improvement, and mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning and growth.
This means not being afraid to take risks or to try new things, even if they don’t always lead to immediate success. It also means having a positive attitude and being open to feedback and constructive criticism.
Furthermore, the infinite game emphasizes the importance of adapting to changing circumstances. In sports, there are often unexpected challenges, such as injuries or changes in strategy by opponents. An infinite player is adaptable and can pivot their approach as needed to stay in the game.
In contrast, a finite player may become stuck in their ways or become frustrated if their usual strategies are not working. This can make it difficult for them to adapt and ultimately harm their chances of success.
Finally, being an infinite player means focusing on the long-term rather than the short-term. This means not getting too caught up in individual games or matches but instead thinking about how each game contributes to your overall development and growth.
It also means prioritizing the health and well-being of yourself and your teammates, even if it means taking a break or making sacrifices in the short-term.
In short, if you want to become an infinite player, follow these 6 steps:
1.Define your purpose
2. Embrace a growth mindset
3. Build trusting relationships
4. Be adaptable
5. Focus on sustainability
6. Have a long-term view