“A very important truth (for you) is that if people ever want to close the gap from where they are to where they want to be, they need the faith and courage to surrender the result and accept the possibility that they may not reach their destination.”
Chapter 8 Reflection Question: What are your principles in life?
Think of all the tough decisions coaches have to make throughout their career. Whether it pertains to actionable coaching decisions or job opportunities, our principles play compass when it comes to decision-making. This chapter invokes reflection on those principles in our lives that guide us throughout our coaching career. Below are the principles that help guide me:
- Family first. My actions are always to prioritize my wife and my family.
- To be a life-long learner – exploring different, new, and better.
- Leave it better than when you found it; finish everything you start
Chapter 9 Reflection Question: What are some of your greatest fears or anxieties in life?
Anxiety can come from not feeling prepared. The fear is not being in control.
Full-disclosure, I hate to fly. Never have and don’t anticipate I ever will unless I get my pilot’s license. By no means, do I intend to become a pilot so this is simply something that I just have to deal with anytime I step on a plane. The execution of the flight is completely out of my hands, thus my anxiety kicks in from the lack of control over my own situation.
In basketball, it can have a similar effect. Some of my biggest challenges to this point early in my career is when our team struggles to regain its composure during tough stretches of games. I think this occurs to many teams across the country when building a big lead complacency can begin to occur. Opposing teams will make a run and applied pressure to hold that lead starts to surface; it is an interesting feeling to recognize the slippage and inability to reset. It can be frustrating finding the right words, or the appropriate message to revitalize confidence or steady the ship from disorientation. The coaching staff vainly attempts to understand what insecurities are going through their heads at that moment that would help pinpoint what resolution is possible to regain footing again. After you exhaust all your options of timeouts or substitutions with varied approaches to joke, motivate, or discipline there is a sense of helplessness. There is a sense of lack of control over the situation. It can be frustrating and humbling as a coach.
The experience is a learning opportunity. Practice environments have to simulate pressure situations as closely as possible. Practices have to be tense enough to reveal (expose) vulnerabilities in personnel to better identify lineups that can handle those situations best. And at the end of the day, reinforcing the trust in your players and their ability to get the job done. I haven’t gotten to the point where I can resolutely accept the surrender of the result based on their efforts, but I have had to live with the results despite the outcome to learn from those experiences.
Fear of not chasing the coaching opportunity that could’ve been great because I let my inhibitions take over
Simply put, I have let jobs go without an application because I don’t think I was ready or presume the role is filled via network. From a probability standpoint, odds would be against me in the majority of those instances anyways, but that is a terrible behavior to model for others. I would never encourage my student-athletes to shy away from taking a chance on an opportunity that at worst, ends in the same situation where I had started.
So, while the opening quote to this post relates to surrendering to what you can control. The quote that resonates most with me from this chapter,
“We can’t measure the cost of everything we do in life. We have to fight through the fear, when it comes to love.”
While, I don’t think this quote was with the intent to be applied to love of the game, my fear has at times kept me from pursuing opportunities for something I love to do. Have always appreciated those with the blind initiative to apply for things that peripherally should tell them they are not qualified. My college career was such a pay your dues environment where I bought into roles come for those who wait. And while, I think there is some (emphasized) credence to this philosophy; it hardly applies to a competitive job market. If there is something you aspire to attain, find the opposite of the aforementioned proverb – he who hesitates is lost.