Tag Archives: Attitude

Attitude & Confidence

It’s been awhile since the last Coach Hays rant. I am getting older, wiser, and possibly even settling down into a maturity level fitting of my middle-aged-ness. Well, maybe not completely.

We, as a sports community in our town, are working on turning around our programs. Turning around programs is an undertaking. Where’s the first place to start when undertaking such an endeavor?

It’s not facilities or fields, it’s not uniforms or equipment, nor is it pre-game/post-game events.

The start of change begins with attitude and confidence.

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Attitude

I used to start summer football conditioning with this speech.

“Would all 6’5″ offensive lineman please stand up.”

Nobody would stand up.

“Would all 6’3″, 215 lb. safeties who hit like a cannon shot please stand up.”

Nobody would stand up.

“Would all running backs who run 4.4 second 40’s stand up.”

Nobody would stand up.

The boys would laugh a nervous laugh, there would be a few snide remarks concerning the mental stability of their coach, then I would deliver the goods in my outside voice.

“We don’t have those physical attributes here in our town.  We don’t have those physical attributes sitting here on this floor.  But, I know what we do have.  We have a lot of bad ass SOB’s sitting right here.  We have kids who will fight and compete until somebody makes them stop.  IF, and I say, IF, you listen to me and do what we ask you to do, this strength and conditioning program will turn you into a human weapon. You will hit people harder than they have ever been hit.  You will play with such intensity and fire you will wreck havoc and create chaos.  We may not be big, we may not be fast, but we can be weapons!”

That’s attitude. That’s the attitude we had to have to be successful, the attitude necessary to compete with teams bigger, stronger, and faster than we were.

It starts with attitude.

We need to put a chip on our shoulder and claim our place among the elite.

As Coach Lane once told the team in this quote from G. K. Chesterton,

“They don’t write fairy tales to teach children that dragons exist…They write fairy tales to teach children that DRAGONS CAN BE KILLED.”

Time to slay some dragons, boys.

Dream it. Work for it. Do it.

Confidence

The attitude has to be paired with confidence.

  • Confidence is developed through repetition and work.
  • Confidence is developed through technical proficiency of the sports skills.
  • Confidence is developed through challenge and overcoming failure.
  • Confidence comes from earned praise and performance.

Royals pitcher James Shields said something very interesting this past week in an interview before his start in the 2014 American League Wild Card Game. The reporter asked him when the season turned around for the team. He pointed to the players-only meeting after the post-All Star Game losing streak. When pushed for what happened in the meeting, I expected Shield relating a story of some fiery, arguments and challenges between the players. Instead, he said something very surprising.

He said two mid-season Royals acquisitions, veterans Raul Ibanez and Scott Downs, who both were picked up from other MLB organizations, addressed the young Royals in the meeting. From their outsider point of view, the two told the team just how talented they were and how much potential the rest of the league saw in the Kansas City clubhouse. Shield said he could almost see the light going on in the players’s eyes around the room, he saw the confidence of the team rise as the players realized they were, or could be, a top-notch team. Things changed from there. The young players needed a little nudge of confidence, they needed someone from the outside to give them this jolt.

Confidence, backed up by hard work and attitude, leads to success.

Confidence, backed up by hard work and attitude, means you can compete with anyone.  You can slay the dragons.

I believe in our athletes. I believe we can succeed.

Gentlemen, you can do this. Puff out your chest and get to the business of being the best you can be.

W.E.B.A.T.T.

(We Belong At The Top)

 

 

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Cultivate Hope

Hope. It’s big. It’s one of those things that make us human, one of those things that drive us. Hope helps us get out of bed every day to face our challenges.

As a coach, the most important thing I can do for the kids in the program is to cultivate hope. I want to sow an environment with an expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen, a goal to obtain, i.e. HOPE. Show up every day, to every practice, every meeting, every game dealing hope. Make this hope permeate everything we do as a team and as a program.

And this is not just important for coaches to deal in hope. It’s even more important for:

  • Teachers
  • Writers
  • Political leaders
  • Manager
  • Supervisors
  • CEO’s

Anybody who leads people needs to radiate hope. It doesn’t matter if you deal with one person or one hundred people, cultivate hope. It doesn’t even matter if you are just dealing with your own self, be hopeful.

I’ve seen hopeless. I’ve seen the hopelessness settle into a long losing streak or miserable season. I’ve seen the dull, lifeless eyes of hopelessness standing on a mid-afternoon street corner passing a bottle. The hopelessness which exists in poverty, substance abuse, mental abuse, and physical abuse.

The black cloud of hopelessness works to settle over our world on a daily basis. Hopelessness with the sole purpose to suck the life and energy from us. It is up to us as leaders to wage war on hopelessness by cultivating hope in everything we do.

Everyone, especially young people, need someone to believe they can do whatever task stands in front of them. They need hopeful eyes to help them see the person they can be. They need a ray of hope to help them fight the black clouds which follow them waiting for an open space to inhabit.

Hope is cheap.
Hope is infectious.
Hope is a super power.
Sow it, cultivate it, and spread it.

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