“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”

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Chapter 10 Reflection Question: Take a moment to define success for you. What does it look like? What do you hope to leave behind for the world to enjoy?

This is the conclusion to the first part of the book – Searching for Clarity. The main character (Danny) reaches the summit with his guide (James), who literally and figuratively pulled him up along the way.

“The mountain is trying to teach you yet another lesson! You focused on the destination, and you took your eyes off the path, much like a coach obsessed with results!”

Coaches attempt to balance objective with perspective. This reflection piece can be subjective to the moment with what we deem success for today, only later to judge in hindsight our level of success based on what we leave behind.

My Definition for Success

Success (as a coach) is the ability to build and sustain a program that emulates high character and competitive respect for a sustainable period of time. Simplistically, I strive to lead a program that prepares student-athletes beyond the game of basketball through the game of basketball with a reputation of class and competitiveness.

Early in my coaching career, mentors referred to the difference between being a part of a team versus a program.

A program tends to embody elements like:

  • Tradition (Alumni, Team-Dinners, & Program Events)
  • Systematic Style of Play
  • Academic Priority with Support Plan in Place
  • Sustainable Competitiveness Vying for Championship Contention
  • Low Turnover of Student-Athletes & Staff (Sometimes Difficult to Control)
  • Brand Recognition Beyond Campus Characterizing Program ID & Culture
  • Strong Relationships to Build the Future, Develop Present, and Connect with the Past
What’s Left Behind

There are quantifiable and qualitative metrics that validate any measure for success, but my satisfaction would come from the legacy I aspire to leave. The bullets above are indicators of the steps I would like to take in order to building a program of success. Asking questions like, do we have resources accessible to best accommodate our student-athletes for academic excellence? Is there real communication between staff and players that fosters trust, loyalty, and development to establish relationships?

To start off our #52WeekCoaching Project we introduce #LeaveALegacy as the first topic for coaches to discuss.

There are a few things that I list that I would like to accomplish before my time is done. Between establishing a non-profit counter to the AAU experience. It would be a basketball-centric venture with a community impact focus accessible for anyone willing to give back to get better. More importantly, you want to leave behind a reputation for improving the lives in some capacity for those that I had an opportunity to reach.

To leave a legacy inspiring those that follow to simply, be good.

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