NEW CASTLE —
1) Focus on the Process
Remember the old Rodney Dangerfield joke?
Rodney: “Hey, Doc, my arm really hurts when I do this.”
Doctor: “Then don’t do that.”
(Insert rimshot here.)
We need to take the good doctor’s advice as well. We’ve got to stop focusing on outcomes.
Instead, let’s focus on the process. Let’s identify the things we actually have control over and stop reaching for results.
Here’s a formula to remember — Attitude + Effort + Fundamentals = Play Free, Loose and Present.
What is your role on the team? Focus on playing that role to the best of your ability. Do your job completely. Trust your training. The results will take care of themselves.
“There is no scoreboard. Next play. All there is, is the next play,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said during a recent interview.
Saban’s Crimson Tide have won three national titles in the past five years.
Now that’s money.
2) Remember, what we do is not who we are
You are not your job. You are not your SAT score. You are not your batting average or shooting percentage or yards after catch.
Neither am I.
We are uniquely designed with passions to work in certain fields or to perform in certain disciplines.
But you are not Joe, the plumber. You are not Betty, the cookie lady. You are not Jamal, the quarterback.
Those are roles we play. Those are talents we have. Those are ways we serve and entertain and inspire and point the way.
It’s not who we are.
When we fall into that trap, when we define ourselves only by our skills and talents, that’s when pressure comes.
Yet that’s not the truth.
Truth is, the free throw in the first quarter is just as important as the free throw with no time left. However, whether you make or miss a shot in those instances does not define you as a “bad shooter” or “horrible player.” It just means you missed a shot.
Truth is, the field goal on the opening drive counts as three points. So does the field goal in overtime. Whether you make or miss the kick does not define you as a “failure.” You were just wide left, wide right or short.
In other words, we’ve simply got to take care of business when there’s business to take care of. And then move on to the next play.
•So does that mean we still put in the deep practice? Yes, we should be excellent at whatever we do.
•Does it mean we still compete with all of our heart? Absolutely! We should be passionate about our play.
•Does it mean we strategize and scout and devise new schemes? Of course. We should always try to create the best opportunities for success.
•And, yes, it means we leave it all on the floor or the field. If you are going to make the effort to suit up for your school, there’s no other way to play.
Just remember to focus on the process.
And to not let your performance define who you are as a human being.
Still remember our formula? Attitude + Effort + Fundamentals = Play Free, Loose and Present.
“The big thing is to make a winning effort. I’m not obsessed with wins,” says Morgan Wooten.
By the way, the former DeMatha High basketball coach retired a few years back with more than 1,200 victories.
Now that’s money.
Let’s go play with it.