Aage ya peeche?

(“Aage ya peeche” in Hindi stands for “Front or back?”)

I was at a Saturday league football (read soccer) game a couple of hours ago. This was only my second game with the team and I was taking corners. I put 3 hopeful corners in but we didn’t have much luck – no goals. The team weren’t really sure where the ball would land and I wasn’t really sure where they’d be standing as well.

As I walked out for the 4th, a teammate screamed – “Rohan. Aage ya peeche?”

“Aage” (front i.e. closer to the goalkeeper) – I screamed back.

Now I knew where to put the ball in. I did. He was there on cue and scored.

Of course, the scoring won’t happen every time but boy, did we help our chances with a simple bit of communication! Seasoned teams know and understand where their teammates put corners in and don’t need this sort of communication. But, for us, it was just perfect. So simple, so obvious, and yet.. it took us a while to do it.

I’ve taken back a big lesson here – communication is the life blood of a team. So, over communicate if you must and ask the simple question. We don’t need “out-of-the-box” thinking or piercing insights to move mountains. Simple questions that move the needle and help us understand each other is what moves mountains in the long run.