I have had numerous followers email me and ask how I was going to relate March Madness to a dental practice this year. There are a lot of you who enjoy my analogies 😊 Thank you for asking and of course, I have a very good example this year, courtesy of UVA. I am sorry to use this team since I reside in Virginia, but it really does drive a point home for everyone in dentistry.
UVA’s stunning loss against Furman shows us a lot of similarities between basketball and dentistry. As a basketball coach myself I am reading a lot of commentary on how they lost that game. It happened a few weeks ago so let me remind you of the details.
The last possession UVA had was an inbounds play after Furman made a foul shot. The inbound pass was given to Beekman, and he passed it back to Clark who originally threw the ball inbounds. Clark got caught in the corner of the trap. For whatever reason, he chose to lob pass the ball and it was caught by a Furman player. Furman passed the ball, made a 3-point shot and won the game.
Reasons for this team breakdown could be placed on every UVA player on the court. It wasn’t just the passer or the player in the corner that was trapped and threw the ball that resulted in the turnover and Furman scoring. It was the players at the extended foul line that could’ve cut to the ball. It was the other one down the court that could’ve come up because he saw his teammate was caught in the corner. A time out could have been called since they still had one to use. By the way, a full court press and how to handle it are taught to teams in middle school in case you were wondering. What occurred was a failure for the team. There was not one player at fault – a team loses, or a team wins together.
This relates to your dental practice in the following ways. Do all members of your team understand their role and responsibilities so clearly that they can win the game at any moment? Does every team member understand what to do, when to do it, and how to do it in your practice? If there’s an interruption in the flow of the day, does your team understand and react accordingly? Are you setting them up for success or challenges? Have they practiced enough and planned or prepped enough so they know how to act and handle the questions I asked above?
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I view the dentist as the head coach and the office manager/practice manager the assistant coach. It is your responsibility as the coach to make sure your team understands how things are to be done at any given time in your office. This requires enough planning, so you are able to think through each situation fully and coach your team according to whatever happens.
Was UVA prepared enough to anticipate the press Furman used? Did teammates let each other down with their actions? Only the coaching staff and players at UVA can truly answer those questions. When it comes to your practice, have you prepared your team? Can they anticipate what will happen next?
It’s your team Coach – are they ready?
If you need any assistance, please get in touch with me [email protected]