Let the game come to you

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What do coaches say to teams when things seem out of synch, when players are struggling, doing their best but somehow not clicking? The effort may be there, but the results aren’t.

“Let the game come to you.”

If you’ve ever played a team sport, you’ve heard those words. Your coach sees that you’re not in the flow, that you’re not moving naturally and instinctively, that you and your teammates are regressing, not progressing — so relax, enjoy and remember all that you’ve learned, all that you know, and the reasons why you play in the first place.

Do so, and the game slows down. You stop worrying, stop getting mad at your teammates, and find ways to win.

That, finally, is what we may be doing in Colorado Springs.

For years, we’ve had the mentality of a losing team. We’ve come to believe that other cities know things that we don’t. Our leaders take road trips to Oklahoma City, Omaha, Denver, Portland and Salt Lake City, return bursting with ideas — and nothing happens.

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We have moderately priced real estate, a vigorous economy, a superb location … and underutilized assets of many kinds.

[/pullquote]We quarrel, we assign blame, we change the form of government, we kick Council majorities to the curb and start over again — and it hasn’t made any difference.

Yet while we were busy sniping at each other, our world has gradually changed.

Polaris Pointe is developing quickly and University Village is booming. A dozen new downtown restaurants and craft breweries have opened in the past 12 months, the U.S. Olympic Museum has gathered momentum and Sierra Completions is poised to bring thousands of high-paid manufacturing jobs to the city.

Did we do something to make this happen, or are we just lucky? Is this sudden flowering just a confluence of happy accidents, like winning three jackpots in a row at Cripple Creek, or are we beginning a long period of prosperity?

We think it’s the latter.

Denver, Austin, Portland and many of our peer cities have long since recovered from the recession. As a consequence, traffic is unbearable, commercial space is unavailable or overpriced and housing is increasingly unaffordable.

By contrast, we have moderately priced real estate, a vigorous economy, a superb location at the foot of Pikes Peak and underutilized assets of many kinds.

We’ve long seen our airport as an albatross, a community investment that travelers shunned.

Sierra Completions saw it as the perfect location for a substantial manufacturing company. South and southwest downtown, once economic dead zones, are ready to explode with new growth and construction.

We’ve experienced the bad times, the floods, the fires, the job losses and the bitter political infighting.

That’s all finished now — it’s time to wake up, go to work and enjoy our city’s rebirth.

As Ronald Reagan would surely say, it’s morning in Colorado Springs — so laissez rouler les bons temps!