Key Takeaways

  • Proactive is “Response – Able”
  • All Things Created Twice
  • Personal Mission Statement

It is so much easier to blame other people, conditioning, or conditions for our own stagnant situation. But we are responsible – “response-able” – to control our lives and to powerfully influence our circumstances by working on be, on what we are.


Habit 1: Be Proactive

Perspective is powerful. And as it relates to our actions it often starts with our perspective – paradigm – on the situation. Often the most skilled athletes are the most proactive. This could include getting up additional shots, asking questions to those with more experience, or identifying other ways to learn (e.g. film or social media). It could be inferred that those same athletes considered most proactive have a higher level of confidence in the agency of their future outcomes, not bound to any pre-determined outcome.

Author Stephen Covey talks about three theories of determinism where people believe to be destined by their conditions or circumstances.

  • Genetic determinism is based on hereditary traits; it’s in their DNA
  • Psychic determinism is rooted in our upbringing from parent’s or primary caretakers rearing
  • Environmental determinism is a product of the external variables surrounding you (e.g. financial or peer groups)
What Can I do? The Circles of Concern and Influence | Fenton, Genesee  County, MI | Abraham Law
Proactive vs Reactive – Image found by Abraham Law

Coaches can fall into this trap by comparing resources, facilities, or pipeline of talent pool with other programs. The Circle of Influence (Image on the left) is what we can control. The Circle of Concern (Image on the right) is out of our control. This is likely something that you have not heard before for the first time, but the most successful center the majority of their focus on what they can control. Take stock into the situation; invest in a proactive response towards improvement via resourcefulness (R) and initiative (I). If the facilities don’t stack up to the rest of the competition use ingenuity to maximize the resources available. Or if the well seems dry in the local talent pool, take the initiative to place a heavy emphasis on player development – either at the grassroots level or within the program itself.

In my role as an executive, I’ve hired hundreds of people. I used to consider an applicant’s GPA, the school they attended, and the information on their resume. Now I focus on two things: how well they get along with other people, and the way they exercise “R & I,” or what (Angela) Duckworth calls grit. If they score high on “R and I” and display grit and a growth mindset, I’m confident they will succeed.

PAGE 103

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind

How many times does a practice plan perfectly match up from conception to execution? If it happens often for your program, shoot me an e-mail because I would love to attend a practice next season. There are always deviations from plan to reality. The author from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People refers to this as “all things are created twice.” The first time is through mental planning, while the second time is the physical action of what was intended.

To Begin With The End In Mind is to have conscientous foresight in order to make the best possible decisions in the present. The next question to ask is what about something unplanned or having to improvise. The difference between reactive and proactive is about being principle-driven.

People can’t live with change if there’s not a changeless core inside them. The key to the ability to change is a changeless sense of who you are, what you are about, and what you value.

PAGE 122

Maybe it is because I have been living in New England for too long, but the “Patriot Way” – which may mean a lot of things – is often most associated with the next-man-up mantra. When a program or an individual is driven by principles then adjustments are made from within the constitution. The author continues about the inclusion of a mission statement can create clarity and transparency for an organization or an individual.

In the book, there is a link to creating a personal mission statement via Franklin Covey. It is a 10 question process that is free to use, similar to doing a ‘Mad Lib.’ After the results are compiled the website integrates your responses to build a personal mission statement. It is to get you started, not to be a final product; here is how mine turned out.


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