This is an illusion: in life, there is no such thing as staying in the same place. There are no straight lines; everything curves. If you’re not increasing, you’re decreasing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Blame vs Responsibility
  • Gravitational Pull
  • Forward Thinking

Thought this was a great visual representation of what we intend to preach as coaches pertaining to accountability and the effect it can have on a team. This can be used in a variety of ways, however, the graphic looks to express how the propensity of placing blame versus recognizing responsibility can impact the results within our lives negatively or positively over time. Agency in our situations allows us to choose a perspective. In the smallest of examples relative to confidence – which is my focal point – is in the conversation with shooters assessing performance. During the game (or practice) shooting a low percentage can be a result of a variety of things: shot selection, time, defensive pressure, etc. Regardless of the reason, there is a responsibility as an identifiable shooter to be mentally prepared to shoot the next with confidence. The thought process can be I am one for my last ten and pass up the next open look; or, the next shot attempt is going to make me one for one.

It’s not even a question of what you wish for: be careful what you think. Because what you think, multiplied by action plus time, will create what you get. (70)

This line of thinking can go down the line from competitive circumstances to classroom performance. Some teachers may resonate more with others. Some employers will have preferences of personalities or professional experience during advancement opportunities. At the end of the day, placing blame on a result withdraws any control over the situation moving forward versus accepting responsibility to move forward gives confidence that the next chance at something is an accomplishment, not luck.

Gravitational Pull

The average customer will tell three people about a positive experience with a business or product, but will talk about a negative experience to thirty-three people! Eleven bad experiences to one positive; eleven reasons an idea won’t work to one reason it will. (67)

The status of superstars are judged in the most pivotal moments – playoffs and championship moments. Yet, the entire season doesn’t culminate into championship moments with multiple heroic or championship performances strung together game-after-game. It is so much easier to forget how good we can be because negativity is so palpable. The author alludes to the number of times we are told no as a child (although well-intended) versus yes; we have been conditioned since an early age that no is more commonplace than yes. Whatever the reason, negativity can be an anchor weighing on you and staying attached until it sinks. The challenge with confidence is always having a positive association with an ensuing decision. Sticking with the shooter’s mentality, how many game-winning shots can you take and miss knowing that if you are put in the same situation the very next game you will have the confidence to knock it down like that is all you have ever done?

Forward Thinking

“People on the failure curve tend to focus on their past – and it pulls them down. People on the success curve focus on their future – and it pulls them up.” (71)

On our About Us (To Learn) section of the website, it’s discussed how history can teach us what not to do and avoid repeating similar mistakes. It’s irresponsible to ignore the past because there is so much we can learn from what we have already experienced. But, it is focus towards the future that can provide eternal optimism or confidence. It is not easy. I struggle with it constantly because coaches are often reminded of gut-wrenching losses, difficult decisions, or even rejection for job opportunities. Have to practice what we likely preach – shooter’s mentality to always look forward to the next time at going one-for-one.


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