Being Part of the Team
In high school I had the good fortune of having very demanding and knowledgeable football coaches. Our head coach’s name was Jim Haluska. He was one of the premier coaches in the state of Wisconsin. As I look back on my time with him I realize that he taught me many things about commitment to the team and physical and mental toughness.
Let me share one of his lessons with you.
One day after the sophomore football season Coach Haluska saw me on my way out the door after school. He asked me if I was coming to the voluntary work out that the football players were doing after school. I said that I would not be and that I was working out on my own at home. I really was working out on my own lifting weights quite a bit.
That didn’t sit very well with Coach and he went on to give me a good grilling about the need to work out with my friends in order to develop team unity and to work on some of the drills that he had specifically chosen for his football players. His grilling was also combined with an additional grilling by our offensive line coach. It went something like this, “ Nicklaus doesn’t have to work out with the team. He’s working out on his own.”You many consider this fairly minor but the point was made and I was at the next voluntary practice and everyone after that.
As I look back on that lesson I realized that it was very valuable to me and has helped me in helping my students and my staff prepare for bigger and better things.
Here’s what I learned:
• A team is a team. In order for a team to grow and experience their fullest potential the team members must spend time working together and getting to know each other better.
• You need a mentor. A mentor is someone who has valuable experience and knowledge that you do not have.
• You need to listen to your mentor. Many times students find someone who can really help them grow and become the person that they are capable of becoming but they choose to follow only the instructions that are comfortable to them. Following the instructions that you are comfortable with will only take you as far as your knowledge will allow. Why bother having a mentor if you don’t allow him/her to give you the full benefit of their work and knowledge?
Note: For parents of young students it’s you who must guide your child in difficult commitment decisions and doing what’s necessary to achieve remarkable results. Are you willing to trust your child’s mentor and do the things that he/she recommends?
• There must be sacrifice and commitment.
I’m thankful that my coaches gave me a hard time because they realized that I was making a mistake. I’m thankful that I listened.
Make the plan, work the plan,
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