My daughter wants to play soccer in high school. If you don't play club soccer outside of school, you're chances of making the high school team are remote. For a variety of self-inflicted reasons, she did not make any of the local teams, but looks to be catching on with a team a good half an hour away.
I'm willing to make the long drive, provided she commits to working hard at the game. I like the sport and it's been a great teaching tool to help her connect work with success with happiness. Soccer has been the best teacher of that connection.
So how do you get her to fully buy in? That's where Zig comes in. Zig's book is full of pearls of wisdom. I'm on my fourth time through it right now and each time I've had a different sales problem and each time it's come through in a different way. In this case, I pictured her future if she followed a plan of Deliberate Practice and worked out 30-60 minutes a day, focusing on the area that has cost her spots on the other teams, ball control. I'm convinced that if she does this, she's guaranteed success. I've seen it work with her before and I know that the skills she needs to master aren't that far out of reach. In my heart of hearts, I know she can do it if she follows the plan. Selling, then, is getting her to know, in her heart of hearts, that success is hers if she follows the plan.
That's been the focus of our conversations lately. We worked out yesterday and focused on a single type of turn and did it over and over and over again. She improved markedly. We also worked on shooting and she took 30 shots into a baseball backstop, making sure her form was as good as it could be. (YouTube abounds with soccer videos showing you just how to do the basics.) She drilled shot after shot. Afterwards, it was clear I had sold her on Deliberate Practice. She knew she was getting better and could see the results. I still hadn't sold her on doing it on her own.
My daughter has a very kind heart. She would never deliberately hurt anyone. She doesn't have a very good sense of the sacrifices others make for her so she can succeed, however. I explained how one of her brothers had agreed to take time off of work to drive her to those distant practices on the days when I couldn't do it. I asked her to think about how her other brothers worked out with her and encouraged her. We talked about what it looked like to her teammates when her ball-handling skills were poor, how she was wordlessly telling her teammates to win the game for her. I think she got it. The next few weeks will tell.
I think I made the sale. If I did, it was because I took a step back and asked myself if I really believed my plan would make a difference. In all honesty, I just can't see how it can fail. My sales effort was an expression of that feeling to my daughter. I'm optimistic that it worked.