“My motto was always to keep swinging. Whether I was in a slump or feeling badly or having trouble off the field, the only thing to do was keep swinging”
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”?
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.
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!
From the New York Times this last weekend:
“Ryan turned one of the N.F.L.’s most clandestine operations into an open book. The Jets collapsed at the end of 2008 in part because of the tense atmosphere. Ryan changed that, changed a culture, changed the way people felt about coming to work.”
This comment from a media source caught our attention in that the last part of it is what every coach would love to see happen on their team. When your players want to come to practice, 2-a-days, the games, the meetings, the PR functions, the press conferences, etc., that says something. It does not matter what level you coach at. When your team “wants to come to work” it says something about you as a leader. To motivate people to follow a vision takes those individuals buying into what one believes in and as a coach, inspiring a team has to start in your heart and then be transferred to your players. To play as a team requires a total collective buyout and not just a few team members. One of Rex Ryan’s former players, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens was quoted as saying that Rex had the heart of a father. Your leadership as a coach has to begin with caring more about the player than the plays he makes. Otherwise you prostitue the player and he becomes just an object to your own selfish motives. When you care about someone, then you can lead them somewhere.
A coach’s schedule is so demanding that priorities must dictate how that individual uses his or her time to meet all the demands of life. In trying to become more informed about the 2010 NFL final four football coaches, we read about Coach Jim Caldwell, and realized that he is a man who cares about people. He is known to talk to everyone in the locker room about everything from physical ailments to family details. When a coach takes time to talk to every person associated with that team, you might wonder if they will be a winning coach. The proof is in the pudding with the Indy Colts this year under Caldwell’s leadership. He also is quite a reader and constantly seeking to draw on the wisdom of others. Books are a mainstay of the content in his office. Reading about sleep habits, jet lag, and how probability theory affects one’s life are just some of the areas that Caldwell desires knowledge about. One of the main things that caught our attention though was that Jim Caldwell reads his Bible first thing when he arrives at the office every morning between 5 and 6 am. This truly tells us that his priorities are in proper order. A coach who begins his day like this with a demanding schedule that comes with being in this profession has disciplined his or her life to be a person of character. That may explain why resting players for the playoffs and seeking a berth in the Superbowl were bigger issues than having a chance at a perfect season. Criticism reigned down on him for making that decision but truly he was sticking with his plan for the bigger picture. Coach Caldwell’s example to us should cause us to evaluate our priorities for every day and set out to change our personal lives in order to be successful as an individual of character.
This am brings reflections upon the championship game that we watched last night. There were strange happenings all night. Differents sagas took place all during the game. Coaches made decisions all through the game that are providing fodder for fans to chew on today. But TCC believes that one of the greatest coaches during the entire BCS series may have shown up after the championship game in the losing team’s locker room. This “coach” has never even been given an official title as a coach but his words either to or for Colt McCoy may speak volumes for days to come about this game. His words of encouragement definitely put the game in perspective and especially the injury to Colt. His name is Lt. Col. Greg Gadson. Gadson’s journey “in coaching” began on May 7, 2007 in Bagdad when the humvee he was traveling in was struck by an explosive device. He had numerous injuries and lost his legs which took him through a journey of examining his own self-interest or the perspective of the bigger picture. This journey brought him into the Texas locker room to be with Colt McCoy at one of those gut wrenching moments in sports. It was a “what if” moment. Colt definitely had to look at Greg and consider what good could become of a huge disappointing place in life. Reading about this caught our attention. TCC exists to point to “coaches” who impact others and this is one day where we salute a “coach” for making a difference even in a devastating lost. The following links provide more info about this blog.