For Impact


From Yoga Practice to Funding Practice

Blog | | Tom Suddes

Three things hit me in
the last 24 hours around this one word of ‘PRACTICE’.

1. MY YOGA ‘PRACTICE’. At the end of class last night, we were reminded to keep up our ‘PRACTICE’ during the holidays.To ‘PRACTICE’ yoga means that you never really stop… it never ends… it’s a lifelong ‘PRACTICE’… a literal journey.

Same thing is true when you ‘PRACTICE’ medicine or law or accounting.

More importantly, we need to make ‘LIFE’ our ‘PRACTICE’.

2. NOTRE DAME BOXING. In a conversation with this year’s captain, we were talking about the schedule for our six weeks of training beginning January 15th. It really is about the ‘PRACTICE’ (training)… not about the fights
themselves.As I remind all of the participants (225 guys and 100 young ladies), this is a sport that you really, really need to enjoy/love the TRAINING (PRACTICE).

At the very most, assuming you win all of your fights (the prelim, the quarters, semis and the finals), you will have fought for 19 minutes! Think about it. Over half of these boxers will ‘lose’ in their first bout, which means they will have actually fought for real in the ring for a total of 3 rounds or 3 minutes and 45
!!! (Many of them won’t even make it to the third round.)

In sports, there is this wonderful idea of enjoying the ‘PRACTICE’ (TRAINING). In fact, the better the athlete, the better the team, the more enjoyable the PRACTICE.

How can we apply this to our lives? To our careers?

3. PRACTICE’ vs. ‘PLAY FOR REAL’.In our third training session with Ohio’s College Access
Network, we challenged the College Access Programs to go out and make VISITS and JUST ASK. One wonderful young lady who is Executive Director at a program shared a story of how she went out and made her first three visits… and viewed them as “JUST
PRACTICE”. She didn’t even call on her ‘best prospects’, but rather on people who have no association or relationship with her program.

She got one $10,000 commitment and two $5,000 commitments!!!

She is a very talented ‘program’ person who runs a strong organization. But, as she says, she didn’t have any
fundraising experience’ and didn’t really want any. The idea of going out to “PRACTICE” made all the difference in the world for her.

My closing thought is that a ‘PRACTICE MENTALITY’ provides a “nothing to lose”… “it’s just practice”… “there’s no pressure” attitude.

We should all operate like this in ’08.