Sunday, April 30, 2017

When Opportunity Knocks

You've probably heard the phrase about opportunity knocking and how it may "only knock once" and then it's gone.  I believe that it knocks more than once and is sometimes non-stop.  The key for us is to recognize the knocks and act responsibly and accordingly.  

If you listen to or read comments from most coaches after a contest, they may say things like "we had our opportunities and just didn't take advantage of them" or "we had opportunities and couldn't score". Many times we here those comments after a heartbreaking defeat, but if a win is the only opportunity we are looking or working for, then we are not getting the full value of participation in education based athletics and activities as a coach or player. 

There are always opportunities to show good sportsmanship to opponents and officials.  There are opportunities for leadership if you teach a skill to a teammate..  There is the opportunity for personal growth after an agonizing defeat or even a big victory.  There is the opportunity to show up and do what is required in the classroom every day. These examples just scratch the surface of the opportunities that may be knocking at your door every day.  

The Challenge: Don't make the only opportunity you look for be a win on the scoreboard.  Look for the many opportunities you have to grow in your leadership, your ability to show responsibility, your ability to communicate and your ability to show sportsmanship.  The list could go on and on.  

The opportunities are knocking.  Are you listening? 


Monday, April 24, 2017

But or And

But or And

In 32 years of being involved in the world of athletics as a coach, athletic director, parent and fan I've seen a lot of teams and individual players.  I've been blessed to see some fantastic players and teams in a variety of sports and levels of competition.  Some of those individuals have gone onto play at the professional level but the greater majority of those used their experiences to help prepare them to be doctors, lawyers, business owners, mothers and fathers.

One of the ways to make the value of sportsmanship personal with athletes and coaches is by using the following phrases.  You can insert the word coach, player or team into this phrase to make the point.  "He/She is a good player BUT ________" which may be followed by statements like "is not a good sport", "is not respectful to teachers" or "does not treat opponents respectfully".  All are negative statements about the character and sportsmanship of people and teams.

The other and more positive statement is, "He/She is a good player AND ________" which could be followed by "displays good sportsmanship", "is respectful to teachers and adults" or "is a positive leader for the team".

The point is simple.  People may say you and/or your team are good, but how they follow up that statement is more important because it will describe values that last and have a lasting impact on those you interact with.  If you only have once chance to make an impression what will the next phrase start with?  But or And?