Flag Football



August 12, 2011

In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.
-Teddy Roosevelt
Initiative Equals Success
Coaching Point: Nurture Initiative
Think Like Champions Think
EXTRAordinary Quotes
Initiative Equals Success
Today's Mental Skills Tip - Success, according to John Wooden, is "the peace of mind that comes from knowing you did your best." It's not a result of merely thinking about doing well; action is required. Unfortunately, watching TV, being lazy, procrastinating, and "just hanging out" seem to be pretty popular in our society. This provides you and I with a great opportunity to get an edge over average people. With initiative, we will try and try again. Then, if we can manage to keep what's working and change what's not working, we'll have a fail-proof formula for success.

Harvey Dorfman said that the three levels of mental toughness are:
1) Want it
2) Know what to do, and
3) Do what you know.
So first you need to figure out what you want. This can be difficult for everyone, but is especially challenging for young people who are still learning about themselves and exploring the many opportunities that life has to offer. Next, figure out what's right and what's wrong. When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear. This is so because the person who urgently wants to learn what to do to get what he or she wants will take the initiative to look for this information. Wait for an outside force to throw the answers in your lap and they may never come, but constantly asking HOW breeds greatness! Whether from trial and error, other people, books, the internet, or elsewhere, a person with the initiative to persistently ask the right questions will find the right answers.

Finally, the top level is doing it. Take action. Give it your best effort, because the reality is that this step will define your self-esteem (the reputation you acquire of yourself) and your success. You cannot fake peace of mind -- you've either earned it or you haven't. Doing it as best you can also maximizes your chances for superb outcomes (the stuff outside your control that many people call success). The gap between good and great is wide, but the work it takes to make that huge leap is often a very small increase over what you are already doing. Small differences made consistently over time separate high achievers and the first source for these difference-makers is initiative. So, initiative equals success.
COACHING POINT - Nurturing coaches are special. It is easier to correct athletes' mistakes than to teach them to correct their own mistakes. To consistently teach effectively, we must remove our ego's need to be right, to look smart, and to gain credit. Then we can fill our teaching time with patience, empathy, questions, and bits of magical information at teachable moments. We can encourage them to find ways to improve any weakness. We can encourage them to set no limits on their abilities and show confidence in their ability to do things they don't yet think they can do. We can teach them to pay attention so they can figure out what's working and what's not. We can lubricate their initiative and their entire work ethic. And after doing these things successfully, do we look heroic? Well, not to them and not to other people. Our athlete's should and will think that their improvements are their own doing, not ours. But great coaches are heroes, and clearly look like it -- both to themselves and to God.
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