“Five Rules of Being Human”

February 11, 2010

The Super Bowl has come and gone with a victor and a loser in the W-L column. The Olympics now loom on the horizon. Each of these competitive events contains elements that can be considered failure at some point. Not taking home a gold medal can be considered a failure . Throwing an interception can be considered as failure. Falling on the ice can be seen as letting down an entire country. Not making the tackle becomes fodder for the armchair quarterback.

As we explore this topic of failure, one of our readers sent in these “Rules of Being Human.”  Take a look.

Rule #1:     You will learn lessons.

Rule #2:     There are no mistakes – only lessons.

Rule #3:      A lesson is repeated until it is learned. (Unless you don’t care)

Rule #4:      If you don’t learn the easy lessons, they get harder.

Rule #5:     You’ll know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change.

Coaches have the responsibility of  helping their athletes not only deal with success but also with overcoming failure. This lesson may not be learned best by winning  but by helping them see loss as a gain. Is this possible? It is not only possible; it’s a must! Coaches must model this in their own response to a loss or a moment of failure if they expect their athletes to do the same. We all have these points in our lives, yet we continue to judge success based only on wins and losses. One pertinent definition of success is “the favorable or prosperous termination (ending) of an endeavor or attempt.”  Does this mean the Indy Colts are failures as coaches and players? Are the New Orleans players and coaches the only successful ones? Is the W-L column the deciding factor here?

The above picture is a powerful statement about how to live life because our failures should not define us. If we are not  building our own character as well as helping others build theirs, then we are failing because we are not building something that will last beyond  our lifetimes. As humans we were created to represent and live out success in ways that  do not show up in the final stats. How are you defining and modeling “success”?


“Failure or Success?”

January 29, 2010

This drawing probably sums up many of the emotions a coach or player has experienced that has ever competed between the lines on a court of competition. Over the course of the next few days, TCC would like to dwell on thoughts and individual moments that people have experienced when it comes to failing at some point in their lives. It is our goal to inspire the readers of this blog to evaluate how they handle these difficult times in their lives and help bring about change that assists them in fulfilling  the destiny God has for them. There is no other experience in life that paralyzes us as coaches or as players more than failng or the fear of failing.  Everyone goes through this and every coach has experienced a situation in which a team member has posed like this drawing portrays. Sometimes our best does not bring a “W” in the “W-L” stats. The best coaching that one will ever do is during these moments. This is exactly why The Coaches Channel exists: to encourage coaches and to help build character in their coaching staff and team members.   Success only comes when we “get back up and dust off our britches” because, ultimately, failure will propel you to success. Others have experienced these moments so let’s remember to encourage each other in moving toward success through our failures.  Take a  minute to click on this link below and see some examples of this truth. 

                                              “Famous Failures

“The Superbowl Off The Field”

January 27, 2010

With just days till the 2010 Superbowl in Miami, the greatest competition may not be on the field but off the field. With much talk about the possible forthcoming Superbowl ad highlighting the story of Pam Tebow (Tim’s mother) and her decision not ot have an abortion versus having the child, TCC checked into her story and found some amazing character issues and core values at work.

Pam Tebow was serving with her husband, Bob, as a missionary to the Phillipines back in 1986. Somehow,  she contracted a disease called amoebic dysentery. This disease is usually caused by the intake of contaminated food or drink. This caused her to fall into a coma for a time. As she was being treated with strong antibiotics, doctors discovered she was pregnant. “[My husband] prayed for a son: Timothy. He came home and asked everyone to pray. Everyone prayed except me, because I already had four sons,” Pam Tebow jokingly shared at a recent gathering back in May of 2009. Once she found out she was pregnant, her doctor said that a healthy birth was nearly impossible. The doctors “didn’t think of it as a life; they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue,” Pam said. They urged her to abort the baby, explaining that the strong medicines had caused irreversible damage. During this time, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider the abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God and siding with her husband, ”If you will give us a son, we’ll name him ‘Timothy,’ and we’ll make him a preacher.” Even though the ad has not been shown as of the date of this posting, Tim is “preaching” today in doing this ad with his mother.

As a coach your character comes out of what you have been taught as well as what you have experienced.  TCC believes that Tim Tebow’s mother may be one of the greatest coaches of all time. She stated that, in homeschooling her children, one of her greatest goals in teaching them was to prepare them for handling disappointments. This is a definite goal of any coach. If your players can handle this issue, you have succeeded.

Tim also shares that he has been taught to lead with encouragement and not criticism. With all the furor and arguing over this one possible ad in the 2010 Superbowl, we are confronted not so much about what we believe about the abortion issue but as to what decision we will make in difficult times. It must be based upon what we believe even when we are deeply criticized for it. Character matters! Just ask Pam Tebow!

What’s Honesty Worth? Everything.

April 12, 2008

I was watching The Masters golf championship and saw something remarkable. Amateur Michael Thompson was over his ball getting ready to putt when he backed off and told an official that his ball had moved, in essence calling a penalty on himself. I never saw it. They had to show a slow motion replay to prove that the ball had indeed moved about a quarter of an inch.

Now name me another sport where players call penalties on themselves. It’s the beauty of golf, but it’s also the integrity of the man.

Realize this. Michael Thompson, as an amateur, had qualified to play in one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world. He was right on the edge of the cut line, in other words, the score needed to qualify for the final two rounds of the tournament.

Calling a penalty on himself cost him a stroke and put him over the edge, but it didn’t matter.

He walked off the green to the awe inspired applause of the gallery and the praise of the TV commentators who said that his action would leave an indelible impression on this tournament.

Somewhere along the way someone taught Michael that even the game of golf reflects life. There’s no substitute for honesty and integrity.

If you’re a coach, can you see how you have the privilege of “Coaching For Life” and not just for the game?

Be Careful What You Say – It May Shape Your Future

March 5, 2008

Jevon Kearse We’re in the middle of the NFL free agent signing frenzy and I noticed where a number of players are talking to teams that they played for once before, but then left for greener, as in money, pastures. The case I noticed was defensive end Jevon Kearse who was released by the Philadelphia Eagles and was talking to his old team the Tennessee Titans about possibly coming back.

Here’s the point where the rubber meets the road as far as pride goes. The things that were said by both sides when they parted ways originally will be remembered and chewed over. If there were any hard feelings, they’ll be hard to swallow. The same for good times and kind words.

What it boils down to is, be careful what you say, as a player or as a coach, because is may come back to haunt you or it may be your ticket to success.

I’d never lie to you unless I had to!

February 28, 2008

ClemensWith tongue in cheek, a good friend of mine once told me “I’d never lie to my wife unless I had to”. That’s actually not far from the truth for a lot of us. It’s a case of doing what you have to do to get by or out of a jam. In the case of Roger Clemens and trainer Robert McNamee somebody is flat out lying. Either Clemens used steroids and human growth hormones or he didn’t. Or McNamee is lying. I saw a survey the other day in which 57% of the people polled believed that Roger Clemens lied at the congressional hearings.

It’s just an accepted part of our culture these days. We had a president of the United States who once looked us all in the eyes and said “I never had sex with that woman”, and said it so convincingly that he probably talked himself into believing it, or certainly rationalized it. Tell me that didn’t affect the minds of people across the country, especially young people.

But again, we live in a culture where there are no absolutes. You can justify running through a stop sign because it’s late at night and there’s nobody around. You have the New England Patriots secretly video taping other teams, because it’s “hey, just getting an edge”. In racing the old line is “if you’re not cheating, you’re not racing”.

How do you find and edge in recruiting if you’re a college coach? You figure the “other guy is doing it so you better keep up” and then, if you get caught, just deny it until you’re blue in the face even if you’re convicted.

Character is what you are when nobody’s looking and there’s no greater showcase for character than the world of sports.