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
When is the last time you really slowed down?
When is the last time you valued investing in yourself over pouring into others?
That last statement might have caught you off guard. You might have re-read it a couple of times. Maybe you disagree(d) with it, or at the very least, aren't sure how you feel about it.
That all makes sense.
But here is why I said it.
If you aren't taking care of yourself, how can you have anything of substance to give to others?
This applies to all of us, but especially to leaders that are responsible for the care of their followers.
CEO's, Coaches, Parents, Teachers, Pastors, and the list goes on, and on.
Let's use a common, everyday example to prove our point.
We, myself included, boast about our posts. You know, the ones where we Facebook, Tweet, or Instagram pictures of #LateNightsAndLattes.
Now, don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a night owl, or enjoying a tasty Latte. Some of us do our best work at hours of the day that others are checking their eyelids for light leaks. (That was a saying my grandfather used. Still love it!)
Isolation can't replace the progress found in accountability.
I was journaling the other day, and I wrote something that is a great reminder for leaders everywhere.
Let's call it an epiphany.
According to Wikipedia (which aren't most things, really?), an epiphany "is an experience of sudden and striking realization."
Let's take it one step further, and create an acronym you won't soon forget.
The Epiphany of ART.
Leaders are often rather artistic in nature. How they express themselves in their thoughts, words, and actions.
That's where the aforementioned Epiphany of ART comes into play.
So what does this have to do with #InvestInRest?
You can't recover effectively without the "ART" of this epiphany.
You have a calling.
You need someone that will help you...
Be accountable to it.
Be responsible for it.
Be transparent through it.
That's where a Life Coach comes in.
Not to solve your problems, challenges, and obstacles for you...rather, someone that will walk with you.
Great coaches ask great questions.
Great coaches help you leverage momentum.
Great coaches call you out on stuck points.
At the end of the day, as leaders, we need to stop bragging about our exhaustion levels, and spend that time doing one thing intentionally...
Part of resting, is intentional investing.
Where are you at on the epiphany scale?
Are you starting to have a sudden realization that this sounds like a need in your life?
If you are ready to talk about what that looks like, I'd love to share the vision for how I work with my life coaching clients.
Send an email: Contact@WHOBIX.com
Call me: 716-672-9661
Reaching out is the first step to being more equipped to pour into your team.
I look forward to hearing from you!
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.
If you aren't #PushingTheEnvelope in your work, you are #KickingTheCan on your progress.
Yes, I said work.
Yes, I realize you are a student.
Your education is your work.
Your work will one day be your vocation.
Your vocation will either be a J-O-B, or your greatest opportunity to leave a legacy.
You don't have to settle for anything less than chasing greatness. And in order to do that, you will come face to face with moments when you have a choice to make.
Do I go with comfortable, or embrace risk?
If you always choose what you know is predictable over what could be, you'll sacrifice breakthrough moments.
Hence my tweet today...
If you aren't #PushingTheEnvelope in your work, you are #KickingTheCan on your progress.
Sing whatever little song you need to, so that you remember this...
Stop #KickingTheCan on your progress.
Settling is stopping short.
To settle in is being content.
In either case, where you are may not be where you thought you'd be by now. It may not be where you want to be right now. And it may not be where you know you could be by now.
All of that can either paralyze you, or propel you. It can hold you back, or launch you forward. It can frustrate you or remind you.
Wait...remind you? Of what?
Your past may have played a part in your present, but it doesn't have to determine your future.
There isn't one of us, myself included, that doesn't need to hear this from time to time.
There is value in a little self-reflection, to provide new direction.
It's at those moments that we have to decide if we are going to feel sorry for ourselves, and start settling for less than our full potential. Or...take a deep breath, settle in, and see things from a fresh perspective.
Be fully present where you are, who you are with, with what you have.
And when you start moving forward, bring contentment along for the ride.
Stop settling today for what your past is lying to you about. Stop settling today for who others say you are. Stop settling because the obstacles in front of you seem like they are too big to take on.
To believe your past is your launching pad, because it was your learning ground. To believe who you are isn't determined by the the insecurities of others. To believe your future is what you make of the opportunities you leverage today.
And when you do...
Enjoy the contentment you find when you settle in, because you've committed to stop settling.
Have you ever found yourself stuck?
The kind of stuck that has you frustrated?
We've all been there.
Life throws us a curveball.
We were hoping to make contact, but then we swing and miss.
And after we swing, we realize the pitch wasn't as good as we first thought.
How do we respond in those moments?
The ones where it feels like there is a stadium full of people watching us strike out.
It's been said we can't hit what we don't swing at.
But I think we are missing out on some equally solid perspective.
We can't hit what isn't in the strike zone either.
If the pitch is high and tight, low and away, up and in...making contact is doubtful. And if it's a wild pitch or a pitch-out? Well, you get the point. We aren't getting on base swinging at offerings like that.
We aren't going to make progress by swinging at bad pitches.
I think sometimes we place so much value in putting our head down and pushing forward, that we miss the point. There is a more effective way to move forward. It requires more patience (that's not always easy). It requires more persistence to "foul-off" a few pitches that we aren't sure if they are strikes or not, just to keep the at-bat alive. But in the end, there is a common goal we are trying to reach.
Getting on base.
Listen...if you are finding the pitches aren't there today...stop swinging.
Stand in. Don't leave the batter's box. You can't get on if you aren't in the game.
Be patient. With a watchful eye, value the swings you don't take as important too.
And at the end of it...when enough bad pitches come?
Enjoy the moment when you can...
In the next blog, we'll talk about what to do once you're on base.
That's just as important.
Sacrifice pride to a process, and you'll experience progress.
Every time your team takes the field, the boardroom, or the stage of whatever it is you do, ask yourself this question.
Are you rolling the dice on personal preference or a vision-driven process?
Leadership requires the willingness to take risks. The problem with that statement is that immediately we associate risk with craziness. We think that means doing something irresponsible.
The harsh reality for some is that what they are doing isn't working, and they keep doing it because they've convinced themselves it's the responsible thing to do.
I'd argue that for some teams...the risk they need to take requires a commitment to a structured process. If everything you've tried flying by the seat of your pants isn't working, there is a common denominator in all of your decisions.
Personal preference breeds predictable chaos.
No matter what kind of team you have...
_____________. (fill in the blank with any team of people)
The risk you may need to take is trusting a process. Trusting a vision. Trusting that the person on either side of you will do the same. Because trusting in preference has gotten you nowhere.
And any team that turns a corner is always led there by someone who was willing to go first. Not because they had a guarantee of success, but because they had the guts to stand up and admit what currently is, stands in the way of what should be.
Teams full of them finish first.
Roll the dice.
Take the risk.
On a process, not preference.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.