Team Play: What’s good for the goose…

Being on a women’s tennis team can be fulfilling, fun and exciting. There are opportunities to form lasting friendships with people you may have never met otherwise; you may feel a sense of belonging, girl power and camaraderie. But…

There are times when you might experience a whole other range of sensations, and it only takes one bad egg to bring it on. Frustration, secrecy, disappointment, exclusion, disbelief, jealousy, anger—and the stuff of daytime dramas—are often part of the deal. This thought often crosses the mind, “Am I back in high school?” 

Such a simple notion as “let’s play” can sometimes become unnecessarily complicated when egos, insecurities and the dark side of competition come into play. We all want to win, we all want to get better and we all make mistakes. How do we find balance between winning for ourselves vs. playing for the team?

Where human beings fail, geese seem to have the answers…
Here is a post from Gurmukh Khalsa shared by yogi Jillian Pransky:


In the Fall, when you see geese heading South for the Winter, flying along in a “V” formation, you might be interested in knowing what science has discovered about why they fly that way.

It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following.  By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.  Similarly, people who are part of a team and share a common direction get where they are going faster and easier because they are traveling on the trust of one another and lifting each other up along the way.

Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go through it alone, and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the power of the flock.  If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation, and share information with those who are headed in the same way that we are going.

When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wings; and another goose takes over the formation.  It pays to share leadership, and take turns doing hard jobs.

The geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep their speed.  Words of support and inspiration help energize those on the frontline, helping them to keep pace in spite of the day-to-day pressures and fatigue.  It is important that our honking be encouraging; otherwise it’s just, well… honking.

Finally, when a goose gets sick or wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of the formation and follow the injured one down to help and protect him.  They stay with him until he either dies or is able to fly.  Then they launch out with another formation to catch up with their group.

When one of us is down, it’s up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble. If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other when things get rough. We will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. The next time you see a formation of geese, remember their message… that it is indeed a reward, challenge, and privilege to be a contributing member of a team.

Honk if you like what you see…