How We Play the Game- Uri Schneider

About the Author:

Uri Schneider, M.A. CCC-SLP is a partner in Schneider Speech (USA and Israel) and faculty at the School of Medicine at University of California at Riverside. Uri is recognized as a highly skilled clinician and an engaging educator and trainer; known for his broad range of professional experience, his passionate commitment to people and the profession, and his hallmark characteristics of creativity, sensitivity and positive spirit.

Uri is an international leader in professional development, clinical care and advocacy.  He is active lecturing around the world, publishing articles, hosting podcast series “Conversations” and hosting regular virtual meet-ups for parents, teens and adults.  Uri co-produced two documentaries “Transcending Stuttering: The Inside Story” and “Going with the Flow: A Guide to Transcending Stuttering” and the most recent Transcending Stuttering Online Course Series.

Uri enjoys running and spending time with his family (wife and four children).

Life is a game. 

Not a game of winners and losers.  

Rather, a game of winning and losing.

It’s a game of “checking-in;” “stepping onto the court;” and “playing the game” we were born to play.

Sure it could be safer to sit in the stands or more entertaining as a solitary spectator on the couch.

But we all know the real action is on the court – not on the couch.

This game is not a game of points – but a game of goals.

The goal is connection.  

The points are earned through our best efforts.

The game of life is an endurance sport of distance, not one short sprint.

The challenge is to endure and persevere; to ride out the ups-and-downs..  

And the real winners are NOT the ones who coast across the finish line.

Oh no.

The greatest winners were the last ones picked at the start.

The real winners are you and me. 
Nothing trumps the triumphs of the underdog.  

The ones who were overlooked by others and even doubted themselves; 

nonetheless, while no one was looking, summoned the grit to grind through it, 

and grew against the odds, got stronger through the adversity.

Satisfaction in life, isn’t determined at birth.  Nor through school, college or career.  

The satisfaction we seek is earned through the lives we live.

The biggest wins are won when no one is looking.

The greatest triumphs are made against the odds.

Trust me, great things can happen when we dare to play our game.

Let’s play.

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How We Play the Game- Uri Schneider — 23 Comments

    • Thank you Kristen! I appreciate your comment and friendship.
      I was unaware this was posted, so I apologize for my late reply.

  1. Good message, Uri. We can learn from both ups and downs. It’s okay to enjoy the ups. And when the downs happen, as they will, we can be confident there are more ups coming.
    (Now if I could just live what was so easy to write.)

    • Thanks Dale.
      So true.
      That being said, it is meaningful to put thoughts/feelings into words.
      Whether spoken or written, the words have meaning and carry weight.
      And sometimes, that weight can move the world around us.
      Or lighten the burden or weight we otherwise carry.

      I really liked your creative mono/dialogue piece.
      I talk with myself all the time.
      Never thought I could give a aname to my alter-ego, til I read yours.
      Open to suggestions.

  2. Uri,
    I REALLY enjoyed this writing of yours. I think that looking at life as a game and taking the most from it is so positive. Your line about “this is not a game of points, but a game of goals” was so encouraging. Great post and thank you for participating in the conference!

    Chloe Kendra

    • Thank you Chloe. The line you pulled is one that has extra meaning for me.
      identifying our goals is so important.
      Inching towards them.
      Getting traction on the path.
      That is what matters most!

  3. Terrific message, Uri. “… We all know the real action is on the court – not on the couch.” So true!

    • The wonderful thing is… now you know what I was listening to as I composed this piece at my desk 😉

      Bela Fleck

      Rob, it’s great to be on the court with you…

  4. Hello Uri,
    I think it is great that you are encouraging others to “play the game” rather than sit by “on the couch”. Pushing others to go after what they want! Thank you for the great message!

    • JP – thanks for the feedback. It means a lot.
      Yeah, I was more comfortable sitting on the couch myself… til someone nudged me to compose this and submit it to the conference.
      I have them to thank.
      And in gratitude to them,
      I try to pay it forward.

  5. Uri,

    I am so thankful that you wrote for the conference, what a wonderful piece you have composed! Thank you so much for sharing your work of art with the world!


    • Thank you Taryn.
      I am not sure who you are, and hope we connect in the right time and right place…
      But even without knowing who you are, your comment means “the world” to me.

  6. Oh my gosh! I love this! I’ve been saying for years that life is a game. A game that everybody plays but nobody goes against the rules (our social norms and expectations) or makes their own because it is viewed as unusual. Unusual and new is what makes us unique. People are afraid of change, to do things differently. I love this line, “The biggest wins are won when no one is looking.” Absolutely true. When we do things for ourselves instead of others, that’s when we win. Nobody needs to tell us. We just know.

    • Indeed, this is one of the lessons I wish I could teach my 20yo self.

      “The biggest wins are won when no one is looking.”

      Thank you for your enthusiastic and significant response.

  7. Uri,

    Thank you for this. I agree that there are many ups and downs in this “game” of life. I enjoyed the line about how no one wants to stay on the sidelines, they want to be on the court where the action is. I think a lot of people avoid things that are scary, and miss out on the action. I hope we can encourage each other to be brave and go where the action, and real-life is.

    • Absolutely!
      We all try to “play it safe.”
      We have good reason to be cautious and careful.

      But absolutely, to quote you, “Go where the action is.”
      Lets keep encouraging and supporting eachother to go there.

  8. Uri,

    I love everything about this. Life truly is the craziest game of all. I really enjoyed at the end when you said, “satisfaction in life, isn’t determined at birth. Nor through school, college or career. The satisfaction we seek is earned through the lives we live. The biggest wins are won when no one is looking. The greatest triumphs are made against the odds. Trust me, great things can happen when we dare to play our game. Let’s play.” It shows to readers that despite circumstances that are out of their control such as stuttering it doesn’t define their satisfaction with life. Life is what you make it, and I hate that there are people out their who feel like they will be better off sitting on the bench quietly rather than jumping in and playing the game of life with all that they have. Thank you for writing this, and allowing others to realize that despite the ups and downs it is much better to play the game of life rather than to sit on the sidelines.

    • Thank you very much for your substantial comment here.
      You really “got it” and I can feel the resonance.

      That means a lot.
      Pass it forward and feel free to share.
      (I could also pass it along in better format…)

  9. This is a wonderful message for individuals facing any adversity. It is important to play the game and see that there is another side to it. Thank you for sharing!

    • I whole-heartedly agree!
      I wrote this as a professional who cares for, champions, admires, and learns from people who stutter and their families.
      I do not stutter.
      But lord know I have my share of challenges.

      And the experience of leaning-in, the experience of doing so with a community of people who offer support/understanding, is something I see shining in the stuttering community. And it can and should be learned-from in circles far beyond stuttering circles…

      Thank you for your comment.

    • Hey – thanks Daniele.
      As we planned, when the dust settles from all the wonderful action around this conference and your work for the Candian conference, let’s talk about how to turn this into a audio-visual piece.
      (My 14yo son is a budding talent with video editting (he happened to create the 90-sec motivational video we recently shared…)

      Maybe you have soe input to offer, and then he could help me run with it. 😉

  10. I want to thank the founders, sponsors and moderators of this wonderful conference!

    More than ever, we have YOU to thank for making this possible.
    Before Zoom was a thing, before a pandemic forced us to submit to our global connectivity and planetary universality…
    YOU had the vision and made the ffort to make THIS happen, year after year…

    And it gets better and better.
    Thank you!