All across the country, football stadiums are packed out with adoring fans ready to cheer on their favorite teams. For the next 4 months, fierce loyalty… and rivalries… are taking center stage on TVs, in homes, and in the hearts and lives of millions of Americans.
If you’re a fan, you know the best games are always the closest ones. These games usually come down to the last few plays in the 4th quarter. Likewise, the best PHAs make their biggest push, in the 4th quarter. (see what we did there?? LOL)
When it comes to making a 4th quarter push, PHAs have to reach deep and come up with more than just the strength to finish. We must have a plan ready to go, in addition to the determination to carry it out, to ensure we come out winners when the final whistle is blown.
The most important part about what you do in the 4th quarter is what you’ve done before you got here. Athletes have to prepare off the field, so they can be ready when it counts. As PHAs and EDs, we can’t just show up, play the game, and go home to live our lives until the next one. We must be prepared the same way a top tier athlete would be. They adhere to a grueling schedule of workouts, reviews, meetings, and practices before they ever get to the 4th quarter of a game. Each item on our schedules should be designed to get us ready in case we need to pull off a big comeback in the 4th.
We are close to the final quarter of the year. If you were asked, could you properly say your agency is well-prepared?
Let’s look at a few tools you can utilize to get your agency ready for the 4th quarter push.
One of the most important elements of a player’s schedule is film study. Athletes spend a significant amount of time going over tape of previous games. Coaches go through every play and talk about what was done correctly and what needs improvement. This helps to highlight weaknesses and is used to develop their strategy and playbook for the next game.
PHAs should adopt this same idea. Take a look at what you have done so far this year, both good and not so good, and use that information to help you develop a winning strategy for the final quarter. Review your reports with an honest eye and determine what needs to be done to close out the year successfully.
Sports, especially football, is all about strategy. Coaches have to create strategies for both offensive and defensive maneuvers. In other words, they must gameplan for not just their actions, but also how they will react to what happens around them.
When stepping into the 4th quarter, PHAs also need to gameplan. Once you have done your film study and know what needs to be worked on, consider the following:
- Develop your playbook
If something isn’t working properly, it’s time to create a new way to execute that play. PHAs can create their own playbook for the 4th quarter. A series of tasks, complete with step-by-step guides, clear goals, and contingencies, that will help them come out on top. A great playbook will take your team far in these last few months.
- Huddle up!
It’s time to gather your team and make sure everyone is on the same page. When a coach calls a huddle it’s usually to either encourage their team during the game, or to draw up the next play. PHAs need to do both of these!
We have all seen those strategy boards coaches use with Xs, Os, and arrows to tell players where they are expected to be during the play. They use this to communicate the objectives and expectations of each play as clearly as possible. While you don’t necessarily need to use a strategy board, you do need to find a way to be clear and concise about what’s next for your team.
This is also a great time to invest energy into team building. Encouraging your staff and letting them know you’ve got their back, will cause your team to break the huddle ready to dominate! Remember, what you do in this final quarter of the year will set you up for future success.
- Practice, practice, practice
While no one is expecting perfection, practice does make progress. Even pro athletes, who have honed their skills to an ultra-elite status, are required to practice several days per week. The goal is always to improve wherever they can. So, how can you, a PHA, take that concept and apply it to advancing your agency in your community?
One way to do this is by reviewing your policies and procedures, administrative plan, and your team lineup on a regular basis. Especially any areas of improvement you identified above. Then make sure your teams are repeating these actions on a regular basis. It does no good to get HCV certifi4ed, if you’re then not using that knowledge on a regular basis. Practice is about repetitive action to build memory and skill. If you find areas of your gameplan that isn’t working, adjust, and go again.
The Final Push
The 4th quarter is not the time to give up. It’s time to give it your all and finish strong. Stay in the game and come out winners.
“Football is a great deal like life in that it teaches work, sacrifice, perseverance, competitive drive, selflessness and respect for authority. It is the price that each and every one of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.” – Vince Lombardi