The Power of 3

We’ve all heard the phrase zone coverage sometime during our lives. It’s a sports term—common in football and basketball. Zone coverage means that each team’s objective is to provide enough space so that the opponent is always in front of the defender.

This added zone or space permits big gains in lieu of a game-tying or winning score. A team can always revert back to man-to-man coverage as its opponent advances.

Zone coverage—as a concept—really applies to many areas of life. Take parenting, for example. Our adoptive parents believed in and executed zone coverage every day. They adopted defensive play as their game plan. It made sense because they had three growing boys—and were thus outnumbered three-to-two in the family unit!

page 40 Mom (Stepanie) and Dad (Alan) circa 1990 001

Our adoptive parents, Stephanie (Sarge) and Alan

Of course, and as we shared in our book, Uncommon Bonds, their zone coverage included the“Moms’ Intelligence Network” (MIN). Every day the MIN stayed on alert to make sure no problems occurred that might require man-to-man coverage.

We did everything humanly possible to avoid this one-on-one coverage with one of our parents. Such an encounter usually meant confessing to some minor wrongdoing—and then, preparing for the imminent punishment.

As mothers and fathers know, parenting requires boundaries, a rulebook, and penalties for inappropriate behavior. But it also requires space for mistakes, testing, and personal growth.

Our parents knew that three high-energy boys, if left to their own devices, would naturally find trouble. So they encouraged us to participate in sports, and we channeled our energy into competitive athletics.

Sports became an extension of our parents’ zone coverage. Indeed, the dedicated coaches and devoted teachers of our young adult years looked out for us.

Executing great zone coverage for young people requires a team effort among parents, coaches, and teachers. This is another one of the many blessings we had growing up in Port Jervis.

Never undervalue great zone coverage!