Good To Great

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“Is this good enough”, “is this the best I can do”, are themes that I have been pushing this week with my clients.  In my team meeting with my 12 and under softball players I had them think about what it looked like if all the work they put into this season produced the results they want.  What surprised me was how hard it was for them to grasp the question.  They heard me, they understood what I was asking, but they had never been asked to imagine what their season looks like before it started.  They had never spent time visualizing success, at least on the softball field.

This not only surprised me, I was a little saddened by the thought that with all the money parents spend on their kids softball, all the time families spend supporting and sacrificing for their kids to play, they don’t spend the time or hire someone like me to help them with the planning, dream building, goal setting and the organizing of thoughts to support what their kid want out of playing a high level sport.  What parents don’t grasp is that all of the kids I know and coached, from my three daughters or the ten who are currently at their dream schools, they are not there because they were just good players.  They are there over other kids they beat out for the scholarship because of how they think.  These student athletes spent time exercising their thinking, visualizing what it looked like, felt like, smelled like to be great.  We spent time discussing how “Good is the enemy of great” and great is a poor substitution for your best.

I let parents and my athletes know that the percentage of how many actually end up at the big schools are small and in fact out of my fourteen players maybe one will be that major scholar athlete. I also let them know that I have been wrong before when five years ago I told my team the same thing and because they all wanted to be the one, they worked and worked and five from that team earned major college scholarships.  Those five all ended up in the Pac 12, three at Arizona State and two at Cal.  So it is possible to be the one, even for five or more.  But they have to not only work hard, they have to practice what is called T. F. A. R.  The T is for thought, these players were taught to think and believe they were great.  F is for feel it, these players spent time working on feeling what it would be like to be great.  A is for take action, these players were taught to go get what they wanted and R is for results, they understood how to measure their efforts and go after and get results.

What will parents do to give their student athlete the chance to be the one?  Will they spend time building the mentality that it takes to be a scholar, student athlete like they do building the swing it takes to be a division one athlete?