Clock Blocking...Continued

My innocent little blog post on clock blocking has resulted in several philosophical conversations around the prevalence and necessity of clock blocking in other scenarios.  Additionally, it prompted the creation of a web page and a FB site.  When I say it sparked philosophical conversations, I mean simply that I was nearly crucified by some friends and praised by others.  Perfect strangers sent me emails, I got text messages, FB wall posts, and even a clock block shout out at my gym.  The ultimate take-away?  Clock blocking isn't just about running, it's about life and there just may be a time and a place for clock blocking, various degrees of clock blocking, and just plain epic failures that we'll discuss here....

Scenario 1: Real World- You are late for work and the elevator is full and the door is closing as you scream forward as fast as you can, tie flying over your shoulder, sweat adorning your brown, computer bag tightly gripped in your hand.  No one makes eye contact as the elevator passengers let the door close, nearly in your face and you're pretty sure the woman in the gray suit hit the "Door Close" button to help it along.

The Clock Blocking diagnosis: Our clock blocking panel of experts weighed in.  (For the sake of complete transparency, that panel consists of Jim Collison and myself, but we are the subject matter experts in this field.) If in fact the lady in the gray suit hit the "Door Close" button then First Degree clock blocking for sure was happening!   Everyone else was more Second Degree clock blocking since they just did nothing and neglected making eye contact.

Jordan scores while colliding with Bennett

Scenario 2: Professional Sports-  You are the catcher of a major league baseball team and you look up and see a dude rounding third and picking up speed heading directly towards you, a wicked double relayed to your second baseman is also en route.  You just have to hold onto the ball when the impact comes.  You are the only thing that stands between the man hurtling towards you and a run on the board.  Gary Bennett was catching for the Padres when he reflected on the home plate collision by saying, "Going into this job, you know this is part of the gig. I don't know if we're brave or dumb. I've got to say dumb."

The Clock Blocking Diagnosis: Bennet probably summed it up best when he called it "dumb" but it's exactly the kind of clock blocking the situation called for.  It's not always going to be smart or pretty, in fact, in most professional sports and/or other scenarios where you are acting as a clock block you may incur serious injury.  Our panel of experts (again, Jim Collison and me) consider that to be required clock blocking.

Are you kidding me? Image from

Scenario 3: Real World - You are driving down a deserted highway cruise control set at a comfortable 65, music playing softly in the background when someone pulls up to the T intersection ahead of you wanting to turn into your lane.  You glance in your rearview, there is no one behind you so sure they will wait until you are past before turning out.  In a sudden squeal of tires they peel out in front of you forcing you to slam on your breaks as they accelerate slowly ahead of you an empty landscape of traffic behind you.

The Clock Blocking diagnosis: The panel was quite adamant about this one.  This isn't Nascar, and that is one of the most irritating real world clock blocks we are familiar with.  We would consider this an epic fail clock block.

Scenario 4: Collegiate  Soccer - You are the center striker on your team and you are 78 minutes into a 90 minute tied game.  It's been a brutal effort and your legs are pretty shot.  It's estimated that you will have run 6 - 10 miles today on the pitch by the time you are through, sprinting  most of it.  Your right midfielder makes a run you take off too and her perfectly passed ball to the center in front of the goal leaves it at equal distance to you and the goalie... that's when the lights go out.  You wake up in the ambulance with two black eyes and a concussion.  But, hey, you scored the game winner.

The Clock Blocking diagnosis: Okay, the punch to the face is not necessary!  It's a 50/50 ball and you do what you have to go after the ball, for sure, but face punching = clock blocking.  You lose.  In life and in that game.
If you want our expert panel to weigh in on your clock blocking scenario, email me here: 


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