Can You Sleep when the Storm is Blowing?
The Coach's Corner
Published Oct. 4, 2011 @ 8:52 p.m.
The Garza Post is glad to welcome Coach Steve Smith and his column "The Coach's Corner".
A young man applied for a job as a farm hand. When the farmer asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows." This puzzled the farmer. But he liked the young man and hired him. A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm. They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been sat next to the fireplace. The young man slept soundly. The farmer and his wife then inspected their property. They found that the farm tools had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements. The tractor had been moved into the garage. The barn was properly locked. Even the farm animals were calm. All was well! The farmer then understood the meaning of the young man's words, "I can sleep when the wind blows."
Character as it applies to the smallest of duties brings about an inner peace as evidenced by this story. Character is achieved by those little things, which done with pride and added to the entire process produce the desired effect. To do this we must make our goals with the process in mind and not the outcome.
Outcome goals give you direction, such as winning a prize, a game or making a particular play, or checking stats. These are short sighted, self-centered, and the worst type of characteristic a player can have. It is the playing of a play or a game. Process goals include mastering the fundamentals and strategy to be competitive in athletics. It is learning respect and responsibility for your coach, your teammates, and your opponents. It is taking care of facilities and equipment. It is showing, in your actions that you understand how important it is to be a servant. The biggest secret to success is for you to get what you want, is to help enough other people get what they want.
You dramatically increase your chances of being successful by focusing on the process and letting the outcome take care of itself. When you focus on the outcome, you open yourself up to the fear of missing or losing. If you make a bad play or make a mistake, it is easier to become angry. Fear and anger are negative emotions that adversely affect your brain's chemistry and performance. You will be more relaxed and efficient by focusing on instinctive execution, rather than thinking about scoring or winning.
While you may not be able to control the outcome, you can control your thoughts and actions to improve the process. Success in mastering the process builds confidence and makes it easier to achieve your desired outcome. It also allows you to appreciate the other player and the effort he has put forth in his own quest toward his goals.
When we teach our kids these principles and focus on their effort, their respect for others and to take responsibility for themselves we enable them to grow and give them the tools to be successful. This also enables them to be leaders. The type of leaders our society needs.
The leader is a servant that sees through the eyes of his followers. The leader says, "Let's go!" and leads the way rather than "Get going!" He assumes his followers are working with him, not for him and builds others and their character. He develops has faith in people and he believes in them, and thus draws out the best in them.
He learns to use his heart as well as his head. He is a man of action as well as a man of thought.
He has a humble spirit and can laugh at himself and recognizes other leaders and can be led when need be. He is not interested in having his own way, but in finding the best way. The leader keeps his eyes on high goals. He strives to make the efforts of his followers and himself contribute to the enrichment of personality, the achievement of abundant living for all, and the improvement of all. The leader is nonjudgmental and accepts others for what or who they are. In short he focuses on others, the team, the process and doesn’t worry about his own personal desire, because those rewards come to those who are unselfish and mature enough to do the little things.
Our athletic program is developed with this in mind. We stress the little things. We want to win games and have our players be recognized as great players, but this will come when we all learn to give ourselves to the process and not focus on the outcome. We clean our facilities, we take care of our equipment, we help our teammates, we respect our coaches, we take care of our responsibilities and then when the “winds blow hard” we can sleep easy, because we know we have done everything we can to be winners.
It is of utmost importance to compete in athletics with great character. What you do in competition, and workouts will inevitably carry over to what you do in life. Do it with respect, do it with responsibility, and do it with great effort. You do this and sleep well at night because you go to sleep a winner in any man's book.