Hey Ya’ll, it’s the ARM Dude here. Welcome to the inaugural edition of my new blog. I hope you will find the content to be relative, thought provoking, and useful to you in some way.

Sports and the outdoors have always been a part of my life. My favorite sports are team sports like baseball, basketball and football. I enjoy watching a team of athletes work together as one unit to accomplish a common goal. The games I remember the most either as a fan or participant were those games where one team must do something memorable in order to snatch victory from the hands of their competitor.

As a kid, my friends and I would recreate these memorable moments as we played. One day I would be Hank Aaron batting in the bottom of the ninth inning with a runner on base while down by one run. Another day I would be Moses Malone or Kareem Abdul Jabbar taking the last second shot to win the basketball game. There are many other examples but they always involved doing something memorable when faced with a difficult situation.

I participated in many organized sports growing up as well. The majority of my time spent playing organized sports involved lots of practicing versus actually playing in a real game. A big part of each practice was spent addressing the various scenarios that we might face during a game. Most of these situations were not in our favor. For example, in baseball we might practice our defense and what we would do if the other team had the bases loaded with no outs.

All of these lessons would eventually prepare us for the game itself. You hoped that you didn’t to have to face that situation but if you did you knew that the time spent practicing had prepared you for it. Early in my playing career I was fortunate to play on some very good teams that consistently overcame such occasions to win the game. It happened so frequently that I developed a habit of smiling whenever my teams were in difficult spots. I was smiling because it was much more fun to be in a real competitive game and because I believed my team was on the verge of doing something memorable. The joy that would come along with it when we did made business as usual type games very boring. The coaches on these good teams loved it when they saw me smiling on the field because they believed as well. Later on in my playing days I played for some coaches that did not appreciate my smiling when the chips were down. In their mind there was no room to smile when you were losing or in other words they felt like the situation should dictate your attitude. Not surprisingly these teams were not very good and we would crumble when faced with difficult situations.

It has been several years since I have played competitive sports but I have found that the business world provides many of the same thrills I experienced while playing as a kid. The current business and economic climate has put many businesses and individuals in a position where we are behind in the score. This has me smiling bigger than ever. It has me smiling because it has let us all know that we have a real competitive game on our hands. It has me smiling because I trust that all of the lessons we have collectively learned throughout our careers have us properly prepared. It has me smiling because we are all provided with the opportunity to raise the level of our game in order to overcome the odds. It has me smiling because we have the ability to let our attitude dictate our situation. I am smiling because we have an opportunity to do something memorable. I can’t wait for the after game celebration. I’ll see you there!