One of the quick coaching points/encouragements I use often is, “Attack Everything!” As players got into their drills, started something new, or got hesitant or soft during competition, this is often the reminder. It’s easy to glide through and do just enough, so you are getting through the drill without making any mistakes, but also not pushing yourself to the point of being challenged. And often, many mistakes are made trying to play safe, comfortable, or “mistake free”.
Hard Attack ack ack ack ack
We need reminders about the importance of attacking things boldly, even (especially) when it’s hard.
I don’t always attack everything in my life, but I’m working on it. This mindset is key if we really want to become exceptional at who we are and at what we do.
The opening to Star Trek wasn’t to
“Timidly go where no man has gone before.”
“Carefully go where no man has gone before.”
NO! We must be BOLD. We must attack those things that are hard. We have to get after it. My friend Jeff calls those players that he coaches that just work, and battle, and compete, Dogs. I don’t know where he got that, but I always love hearing him describe a player to me and say, “He’s a dog, man”, because I know, in Jeff’s world, that is a kid who has earned his coach’s respect, not based on his talent, but based on the fact that he’s willing to do his very best, all of the time. Not even when it’s hard, but especially when it’s hard.
The hard thing about hard things, is that we only see them as hard things, we see only the disaster and not the opportunity.
-Adapted from ryanholiday.net
When we face hard things, we get blinded by the fact that they are, indeed, hard. And so often we stop there. But what about the rest of the story. There is opportunity within the challenge. And if we want to get there, we can’t skip the struggle.
Our perception of our challenges is the key element in determining what we get out of them. And though a positive/growth/opportunity based perception doesn’t always guarantee success, it puts us in a much better position to be successful, regardless of how you choose to measure it.
We must move away from,
What you see is what you get
Which focuses on seeing things only as they are, or better yet, only as we (normally) see them.
The other team is so big and more athletic. The other candidates have more experience. We are running out of money. I don’t have enough time.
And take our focus to,
How you see is what you get
Rather than listing all of the challenges that lie before us. What if we adopted the mindset of, “This presents a wonderful opportunity”? (Linchpin, Godin) We can choose to see, or find, the opportunity in each situation.
There is great power in HOW we see things.
The story that we take with us, as we walk away from a challenge, is not the one the one that actually happened. Rather, it’s how we tell ourselves it happened that stays with us. What we remember, learn, and carry forward, is not what “actually” happened, but how we retell what happened.
What perspective will we choose?
We could choose to deceive ourselves, as we point out all of the problems, excuses, or shortcomings, of everyone around us, that contributed to the challenge (and also, with this choice, to our demise).
Or we can be a Dog. We can choose a mindset that remembers the opportunity we had to get better, grow, stretch ourselves, and prove our mettle. We can attack the hard things.
Sometimes we will improve, grow, stretch, and prove our mettle, and sometimes we won’t, but the opportunity is always there.
How you see is what you get.