You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
It may not seem like it when your alarm goes off at 5am. When it seems like you are the only one lacing up your shoes to go train. When it’s the middle of the night, you are up studying, and you glance over to see your roommate peacefully sleeping.
You arrive at a place where you get to do what you love, and somehow wish you weren’t there. You wish for the simple. To sleep in. Eat whatever, whenever. Yet…if you were granted that wish, you’d be miserable. Because the passion in your heart to compete is more powerful than the pleasure of temporary satisfaction.
So how do you deal with the mental ping-pong of those thoughts?
Embrace your platform.
You’ve been given athletic talents. You have an opportunity to use them to help others. You are living out your calling, & inspiring countless others to do the same in the process.
Progress doesn’t come without struggle. Success doesn’t happen without sacrifice.
So the next time you feel like giving in, give more. When it feels like you’ve reached a breaking point, think back to where you started, and use it as the motivation you need to make this an all-in launching point.
You were made for this.
For such a time as this.
The air smells different the higher you climb. Not everyone is made to thrive in that climate. But you are. You are hard-wired for it. You thrive on it.
That is your gift.
You know the difference between thriving and surviving. The stark contrast between creating and caving. The clarity as to what it takes to achieve greatness, and the easy path to laziness.
You’ve got this…even when it hurts. You’ve got this…even when others don’t understand. You’ve got this…even when doubt tries to push you down.
And lest you think the only result that matters is…
The lowest time.
The best score.
The gold medal.
The top platform.
Those will never determine the end result. That is for you, and you alone to say.
Don't get me wrong...I'm a competitor through and through. I don't like to lose.
I'm not minimizing the effort that goes into winning, or the pain you experience as a result of losing. I've been on both sides of that coin, many times.
What I feel like you need to hear...deserve to hear...is that as time passes, the lesson of competing as a student-athlete has roots that run far deeper than one moment in time.
You'll begin to ask yourself these questions. And if you can say yes, you'll have gained far more than momentary recognition.
Did you give your all? Did you honor every person on the journey? Did you show humility? Did you act gracious to your competitors? Did you sacrifice your personal preference for the betterment of the team? Did you come a little early, and stay a little late?
Would you do it all over again?
If for no other reason than the relationships you made along the way.
Just to spend those long hours training with them. Just to ride the bus with them again. Just to laugh together, cry together…experience all of it together…again.
Because at the end of the day…
That is the truest definition of winning that I know.
Make the decision to be intentional about building relationships, so that you create a team of influence.
When that is seared into your soul,
you can do far more than win a sporting contest.
You will be ready to change the world.
So please don't throw in the towel when it gets hard. We need you to learn every lesson you can along the way. For the calling that is on your life will be accomplished because of what you learned from them. Without them, life on the other side of sports gets harder. With them you are equipped to take on every challenge thrown your way, in a way that only you can.
Because of that...
You ARE ready to change the world.
No time like the present. Lord knows our world so desperately needs it. And you?
We...those you know, and so many you may never meet...
WE. BELIEVE. IN. YOU.
For it's in the lessons of competition you will begin to understand your calling's destination. And when that happens, run in that direction with every ounce of passion your heart can muster.
You’ve been given a gift.
A moment in time.
Now, and in the future.
You, student-athlete, were made...
FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS.
Let's face it, we've all been there as coaches.
The game seems to be going along fine, and then something I like to call #FieldTilt, happens out of nowhere. Except, if we are being honest, it doesn't really come out of nowhere. It's a pretty common occurrence in sports. The challenge then becomes how do we respond when this moment arrives?
I sat down and penned my take on it.
Read through this short story scenario.
You'll relate to it.
I know I do.
And you'll also have a fresh perspective about why #MentalCoaching is so important in the development of our student-athletes.
What causes it? Momentum shifts and a team begins to play on their heels. But it starts before it becomes a physical problem. It even starts before players get quiet, and it’s a communication problem. It starts when doubt creeps in. It starts when moments of frustration become unwanted momentum.
It starts in the mind.
And once it happens, things get quieter. Touches get less clinical. And the field tilts. It’s as if the actual field is up in the air. The team "holding on" is playing at the bottom of the hill.
When feet get tired, minds must be clear.
Who you are.
Why you exist.
What you believe.
How you do what you do.
All of it working in concert.
Clarity lifts the eyes.
Clears the mind.
Raises the shoulders.
From heels to toes.
From frustration to anticipation.
From holding on to leaning forward.
The field starts to tilt the other way.
Your vision becomes your leverage.
The fulcrum slides, and the match shifts back.
In your favor.
As you honor.
Who you are.
And what you do.
Because at the end of the day…when you know WHO you are, you will know WHAT to do.
So how do we, as coaches, respond?
I've built a model that is changing the game, literally and figuratively, for myself and many others.
The MVP Model.
Mental. Verbal. Physical.
When you are mentally aware of your entire surroundings, and verbally articulate about who you are, and what you are trying to accomplish...only then will you be physically able to live it out.
And the bonus?
When you see and hear how to apply this, you'll be ecstatic!
Don't have a process in place to combat #FieldTilt?
Not sure how to build one?
Wish it was already done, so you can move forward?
Are you looking for a competitive advantage, when your team steps over the white line to take the field?
Done, done, done and done.
Email/call to talk about how to bring the MVP Model to your team.
Tilt the field in the direction you want it to go, instead of looking up later, and realizing you could have.
A physical advantage on the field, starts with a perspective advantage found in the mind.
Ready to learn the MVP Model?
5 Center Street
Fredonia NY 14063
One of the "hot buttons" in sports today is the conversation around playing time.
It's part of youth, high school, club, and even collegiate sports.
From time to time I will hear a comment that goes something like this...
"How are they supposed to get any better if they don't get more playing time?"
I think the question is well-intentioned.
That said, I would suggest that playing time isn't where improvement lives, it's where mastery is displayed.
A game is an outward expression of the skills mastered through intentional preparation.
By the time game day rolls around, the opportunity to work on the technical and tactical aspects of any sport will have already happened (or not).
In practice with teammates.
In the backyard/driveway.
In taking extra reps after practice.
In coming to practice early for more reps.
In studying film to learn from others.
In watching professionals.
In asking coaches questions at practice.
In white-boarding concepts at practice.
Notice how many times the word practice keeps popping up. That's intentional, too.
There is no short-cut to progress.
So how should we handle it when someone says "Why didn't so and so play more today...or at all?".
It's not an attack on your coaching, it's an opportunity for a healthy conversation.
Still don't believe me?
Let's look #InTheClassroom.
You wouldn't expect to earn an A on a test if you never studied for it, or did homework and practice problems.
You don't get better because you took the test, you get better because you prepare, and are ready for the test.
The test is an outward expression of your intentional preparation.
Still not sure?
Think about relationships.
The trust you are trying to earn from the people around you isn't demanded, it's earned. Over time, and intentionally.
Just like playing time.
So the next time that playing time comes up, take a step back. Don't look to defend your position, see it as an opportunity to continue to manage expectations.
Yes, I said continue.
Progress is a process, not an event.
Once parents know where you stand, why you stand there, and what you are looking for...they will likely stand with you to help their child make progress.
And if they don't?
You just got stronger as a team because one of your distractions is headed in another direction. You're welcome. :)
I'll close by saying that nothing brings me greater joy than to see players I've coached learn, grow, and achieve moments they weren't sure they could. Yes, personal development is part of player development.
I've coached long enough now to see former players start great careers, getting married, starting families of their own...and beginning to coach themselves.
And while we may look back and talk about a game here and there...none of it matters as much as we thought it did then. Shocker, I know. :)
No one focuses on how much they played, when they know how much you cared.
But they do remember that they were there, who they were with, and that they had a great experience...together.
Value the conversations and the journey, not the confrontations and wasted energy.
We'll talk more about this topic on and off in my blog. I hope that each time we do, you take it as an opportunity to be a positive influence in the lives of your student-athletes, and their families.
Thanks for stopping by, coach.
And if you are a parent happening by today...it's great to see you, too.
Please know that as coaches we are trying our hardest to provide a great experience for your kids, and honored to be part of your family's journey through life.
I have a practice to prepare for.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.